Crime

Relatives arrested after Picayune man found shot to death in front of aunt’s house

Mahala Burkett, Malcolm Nixon, Ashlyn Cheramie
Mahala Burkett, Malcolm Nixon, Ashlyn Cheramie

An investigation of a man’s fatal shooting in Picayune has led to the arrests of his cousin, his aunt and his cousin’s girlfriend.

Malcolm Nixon, 27, was charged with first-degree murder charge in the Feb. 27 killing of 28-year-old Justin Nixon.

He had been a person of interest since his cousin was reported missing.

Picayune police arrested Ashlyn Cheramie, 21, and Mahala Burkett, 65, on Wednesday on a charge of hindering prosecution, the Picayune Item first reported.

Police have also arrested Burkett on a charge of accessory before the fact to murder, Assistant Police Chief Jeremy Magri told the Sun Herald on Thursday.

Initial investigation showed the cousins had argued in the front yard of Burkett’s home the night before. A passerby saw Justin Nixon’s body in the front yard of the home the next day, according to Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage.

Police were going door to door, trying to find Justin Nixon, when they received a call of a body in front of a home in the 300 block of Jarrell Street, Magri said.

Justin Nixon was shot in the upper torso, he said. A possible motive for the shooting is unclear. Magri said he may release more details Friday.

Malcolm Nixon and his mother live at the home where the killing occurred. The neighborhood is in the southwest side of the city.

Nixon’s girlfriend lives in Carriere.

Malcolm Nixon has a $1 million bond but isn’t eligible to post bail.

He is a felon who was on parole on a felony DUI conviction at the time of the shooting. Nixon is back in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He was to complete his supervision on that conviction Jan. 12, 2019, the MDOC website shows.

Burkett’s bonds $200,000. Cheramie’s bond is $100,000.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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