A brother, son who won’t be home for the holidays

Laura Meci says this picture of Jason wearing rabbit ears is a constant reminder of his sense of humor.
Laura Meci says this picture of Jason wearing rabbit ears is a constant reminder of his sense of humor. Cory Meci

After the second trial in the shooting death of Jason Brady ended with another hung jury, Laura Meci put her head down and started to shake and cry.

Sitting near the back row of the courtroom, she looked defeated.

And she was alone.

In 2012, Louis Williams was accused of shooting her son Jason Brady, 22, of Gautier. Biloxi police responding to a report of shots fired at a mobile home park on Brasher Road found Brady lying in the front door of a mobile home.

An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Williams faced a murder charge, as well as a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana .

In 2015, his first trial ended in a hung jury, and a mistrial was declared. The same thing happened Friday.

Taxing trials

Last week, Meci came to Biloxi from her Las Vegas home for the second trial.

It was a second attempt by the District Attorney’s Office to bring justice in the case, and closure to the family.

But after deliberating for more than seven hours, a second Biloxi jury set word they were deadlocked. Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson declared a mistrial.

“They did it again,” Meci said, almost inaudibly. “I can’t believe they did it again.”

They did it again. I can’t believe they did it again.

Laura Meci, mother of Jason Brady

The decision shellshocked her and her son Cory Meci. The 30-year-old is Brady’s big brother. He’s always been protective of Brady, so his brother’s death hard to bear, he said.

The family went into the second trial with no expectations but at one point began to feel optimistic, he said.

“As the trial progressed and evidence came out, there was a lot more evidence in this trial than there was the first trial,” Cory Meci said. “It definitely looked a little more positive. We weren’t expecting the outcome that came out.”

The two mistrials have taken a toll on the family. Brady’s birthday is Nov. 22. Depending on the year, his birthday sometimes falls on Thanksgiving. It’s another painful reminder of who’s not there.

Brady was shot at a time when he was advancing his life, Laura Meci said. He had big plans, even sketching a picture of the home he planned to live in.

“He just started a new job, got a new car. He had a very bright future,” she said.

Cory Meci, a chef at a Vegas casino, said his brother was one of the best things about the holiday.

“I’d cook his favorite dishes. We would cook stuff together, we’d compete,” he said.

Silver linings

It’s hard to find a silver lining, Cory Meci said, but in a way his brother’s death helped to unite the family, which hasn’t always been on good terms.

“A lot of stuff separated our family,” he said. “With Jason’s death, it kind of bonded us more. You realize how short time is.”

The family also finds a small degree of solace in another fact, which was revealed in the trials.

A witness told the court Brady had stepped between him and the gunman.

The witness calls Brady his “guardian angel.”

Cory Meci said he is still adamant about getting justice for his brother, but said the family wants to move forward with caution.

“Right now it is kind of too much emotion. We are kind of worried about trying to push for another trial. By the third, it’s a third mistrial then there’s nothing they can do. And as far as the DA goes, they said that they’re not going to try it again,” he said.

District Attorney Crosby Parker said his office will review the trial transcripts, which usually takes three to six months, to determine what they’ll do next.

“It’s obviously disappointing to see this case tried twice and not the outcome we wanted, of course,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out with the family. That’s gotta be a real tough thing to go through.”