A jury has convicted a 24-year-old Gulfport man of murder and attempted murder after hearing testimony that he shot two men as they tried to run from him.
Shaquil Sands’ brother had invited Richard Doby and Doby’s cousin to the Sands family’s home in Crown Hills Estates off Three Rivers Road, where the shooting occurred on Robindale Road on Feb. 27, 2016, officials say.
Doby and Djon McCorkle got in an argument and fought, but the shooting started after the argument ended, McCorkle testified.
The fight didn’t involve Sands, but he “pushed his way into the matter” and fired several shots at the men outside in the neighborhood, District Attorney Joel Smith said in a news release.
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Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced Sands to 30 years in prison after the trial ended Monday.
Smith said Dodson considered Sands’ life expectancy and gave him 40 years for second-degree murder and 49 years for attempted murder, and suspended a portion of each sentence for a total of 30 years in custody.
How it happened
Deputies and emergency medical workers had found McCorkle seriously wounded and lying in the middle of the street, and Doby dead nearby.
“Shots could have hit anyone, anything or another house,” Sheriff Troy Peterson said at the time.
Doby, 23, died of a gunshot wound to his right collarbone area in the shooting that Saturday night. The bullet struck several vital organs, according to a state pathologist’s testimony.
McCorkle, also 23, was seriously wounded by four gunshots. A doctor from Memorial Hospital testified two bullets entered his back, paralyzing him from the waist down, Smith said.
Sands was 21 at the time. He told an investigator with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department that McCorkle was known to carry a gun, and he thought McCorkle was running to his car to get a gun so he started shooting, an affidavit says.
McCorkle identified Sands as the shooter.
During Sands’ trial, McCorkle testified that the fight between him and his cousin had nothing to do with Sands, Smith said. The fight was over when Sands starting firing as the men tried to run away.
Doby’s mother told Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson how his death has affected his family, including his daughter, and she spoke encouraging words to Sands’ mother, Smith said.
McCorkle told the judge he suffers every day from being paralyzed, and it affects how he interacts with his son.
Dodson said there was no excuse for Sands’ actions, Smith said.
Dodson highlighted Sands’ actions after he shot the men before sentencing him, said ADA Matthew Burrell, who prosecuted the case with ADA Billy Stage at the Harrison County Courthouse.
“He left the scene, lied to police and tried to dispose of the murder weapon, all signs the defendant was aware of what he was doing,” Burrell said.