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Jury deliberations in capital murder case to begin shortly

PASCAGOULA - A Jackson County jury will have several different charges to consider during deliberations in the capital murder trial of Rodney Phillip Mckenzie in connection with the August 2010 shooting death of professional dog groomer and breeder, Johnny M. Bullock.

In addition to capital murder , the jury will consider charges of murder by deliberate design, imperfect self defense manslaughter and heat of passion manslaughter.

McKenzie and Daniel Lamont Hatten are charged with capital murder in the killing. Hatten is awaiting trial.

The two are accused of shooting Bullock during a prescription pill robbery gone bad.

McKenzie said he acted in self defense, shooting Bullock to avoid being injured himself. He said he fired the fatal shot after Bullock and Hatten got into a struggle inside Bullock's van.

The fight, McKenzie said, started after Bullock offered all of his pills to them in exchange for sex, though he never told authorities of any such solicitation.

Bullock had reportedly gone to a convenience store in the early-morning hours to buy coffee. Shortly before 3 a.m., Bullock was found dead in his wrecked van on Martin Street.

Authorities found Bullock's empty prescription Lortab bottle smeared with Bullock's blood in McKenzie's apartment. McKenzie admitted to hiding the murder weapon under some straw outside his apartment complex.

Closing arguments are about to conclude in the case. The jury will begin deliberations afterwards.

The Sun Herald updates this story as details develop.