Crime

He dreamed of being a doctor but was shot in a robbery. The last of his killers will be sentenced.

Zacharias H. McClendon
Zacharias H. McClendon The University of Mississippi

The man who fatally shot an Ole Miss graduate student in 2013 has been convicted of capital murder.

The Oxford Eagle reports Steven “Matt” Wilbanks was found guilty by a 12-person jury Tuesday for the slaying of Zacharias Hercules McClendon.

The state says Wilbanks, along with Joseph Lyons and Derrick Boone, entered McClendon’s apartment on Dec. 18, 2013, and shot him in the back of the head with a 16-gauge shotgun while McClendon was washing dishes.

Authorities have said McLendon was a neighbor of the three men. At least two of them were Ole Miss students.

In an audio clip played on Monday, Wilbanks admits to shooting McClendon with the gun he bought at a Hattiesburg gun show for $8 so he could steal from McClendon.

Lyons and Boone have already pleaded guilty under a deal that gave them life sentences. Court will reconvene Wednesday morning to sentence Wilbanks.

McClendon was a 2006 Gulfport High graduate and honor student who wanted to work in the medical profession.

He had obtained undergraduate degrees from Williams College in Massachusetts and Mississippi College.

Relatives have said he was pursuing a Master of Business Administration to understand the business side of medicine so he could do more to help the less fortunate.

He had been accepted to study at the University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson, according to his family.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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