Conner convicted of first-degree murder in Meridian

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 3:58 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A man was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder after a 3-day trial in Lauderdale County Circuit Court. Travis Conner, 33, was then sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Conner was found guilty in the 2017 shooting death of Donnikia Clark after the two argued. Following the shooting, Conner left the state and was caught in Kansas days later.

“I feel like justice has been served,” Kedaysha Newell, the victim’s daughter, said. “My family has gotten the closure that we have been wanting for a long time now.”

The trial lasted only two days with several witnesses including Conner’s own mother. Conner maintains his innocence. After five years, the family is ready to put this behind them and keep Clark’s memory alive.

“The last five years have been draining to say the least. Just having to come and deal with this and bringing it back up,” Newell said.

District Attorney Kassie Coleman is happy with the outcome and looks forward to helping other families seek closure.

“I’m very thankful that they have been very patient with us,’ Coleman said. “There’s a lot of different things that have led to the continuances. Not the least of which is being shut down for two years because of COVID. We are very thankful the juries are back and that justice was served for Mr. Clark.”

“My dad is truly missed. He was just a class clown and a family person,” Newell said. “We are sad that happened to him and it was a senseless crime. If we could bring him back, we would, but justice was served and we are satisfied with that.”

The State of Mississippi submitted evidence of Conner’s violent habitual offender status, which included three felony offenses of armed robbery, possession of contraband in a prison and possession of a deadly weapon in a correctional facility.

Conner was indicted in May 2018, but his trial had been postponed for multiple reasons, including delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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