James Kelly convicted of capital murder, victim’s family and prosecutors react

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:17 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - James Kelly was found guilty of capital murder in the death of DeMarquis Houston, whose body was found in a pond in Neshoba County in February of 2020.

As Kelly left the courtroom and was transported to the patrol cars outside, he shouted expletives at a WTOK reporter.

Houston was first reported missing in October of 2019. His family said Tuesday that they received justice.

“We just wanted to thank everyone who helped us get justice for my son, DeMarquis Houston, the Neshoba County Sheriff’s Department, the jurors for their guilty verdict, because he (DeMarquis) didn’t deserve this and I really feel like we got justice today,” Houston’s mother, Shelly Harrington said, surrounded by family.

Prosecutors said the guilty verdict is the result of hard work.

“I feel like justice was served, not only with the verdict today in regards to James Kelly, but the other people that were indicted; there were five people that were indicted with this case,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Posey said. “All of them are serving prison sentences for their various roles in this case.”

“The more work you put into something, the bigger the payoff is when you get it resolved,” Assistant District Attorney Mitch Thomas said.

Houston’s family told WTOK that his smile would fill a room and he had so much passion for the things he enjoyed in life.

“He was a really good kid and as you can see, he had a lot of people that loved him,” Harrington said.

DeMarquis Houston was murdered in Oct. 2019. His body was found Feb. 15, 2020.

“Thank the Lord for this justice we got,” Houston’s grandmother said.

The sentencing for Kelly is set for Nov. 23.

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