Teen arrested in stabbing at Ocean Springs Mardi Gras parade says he’s innocent

An Ocean Springs man has pleaded not guilty to felony charges accusing him of stabbing two men just before the Ocean Springs Mardi Gras parade was set to roll last year, court records show.

Vantonio BJ William Jr., 18, was indicted on two counts of aggravated assault.

According to Ocean Springs police, the Feb. 11, 2017, stabbings occurred after a fight broke out in the parking lot of Crossfit Ocean Springs

The fight, police said, was over a drug deal gone bad earlier that week.

William is accused of stabbing one of the young men below his rib cage and the other man in the hip, police said.

The owner of Crossfit Ocean Springs witnessed the stabbing.

Shane Wilkinson told the Sun Herald he saw two people in a fight on the east corner of the parking lot behind a truck before two others got involved. He said the stabbing occurred when the fight escalated.

William was still holding the knife, according to Wilkinson, and yelled “it was self-defense” when police arrived at the scene.

William is out of jail on a total bond of $40,000.

Sun Herald Digital Producer Justin Mitchell contributed to this report.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45