Update: Man convicted of murder shot relative of woman he was dating

Marquis Saunders
Marquis Saunders

Marquis Saunders, convicted of murder late Thursday night, killed the brother-in-law of the woman Saunders was dating, prosecutors said.

A Harrison County jury found Saunders guilty after hearing testimony and evidence in the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Jamel Jones. Jones was shot to death Jan. 31, 2015, in the parking lot of Amber Apartments. The complex has a Biloxi address but is in D’Iberville.

The jury heard testimony that Jones and Saunders’ sister-in-law had been having arguments over “infidelity issues” that didn’t involve Jones, District Attorney Joel Smith said in a news release.

Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois imposed the prison term in Harrison County Circuit Court after the jury deliberated less than two hours

Jones had died of gunshot wounds at the scene.

A neighbor at the apartment complex off Lamey Bridge Road testified he heard the last two of several shots and saw the shooter leave in a white Ford Explorer, Smith said.

That man and others gave police a description of the shooter and the tag number of the Explorer. Harrison County deputies, assisted by D’Iberville police, pulled Saunders over on Mississippi 67 near D’Iberville High School.

Smith said jurors heard testimony that Saunders, from Bronx, New York, wore a 5.11 Tactical shirt — most commonly worn by servicemen and law enforcement officers — and had gunshot residue on both hands.

Saunders also was convicted on a related charge of taking a motor vehicle.

Bourgeois imposed a five-year prison term for that charge and ordered it served concurrently with the life sentence.

Assistant District Attorneys Baker and Scott Lusk prosecuted the case.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews