Fourth shooting suspect jailed

Aggravated assault suspect William Gaines enters West Point Municipal Court Friday morning.
Staff Writer

A $200,000 bond is set for the fourth suspect in a Jan. 13 shooting that almost killed a West Point man.

During a brief arraignment Friday morning, West Point City Judge Bennie Jones also entered a not guilty plea for 24-year-old William Earl Gaines III, of Fayette, Miss., and set a March 27 preliminary hearing.
Gaines' parents drove up from Vicksburg Thursday night following his arrest. During Friday's hearing, they told the judge they couldn't afford an attorney. The younger Gaines said the only thing he owned was a 2000 Mazda Protege and that he hadn't worked since a construction job last November.

Jones appointed public defender Marlin Stewart to represent Gaines.

He was arrested Thursday morning by U.S. Marshals at his home in Fayette, in Jefferson County and returned to West Point. He was booked into the Clay County Jail at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday on aggravated assault charges.

His parents told a court officer his son was in West Point visiting a girl when the shooting occurred.

Three other suspects already have been charged with shooting Travis Strong at about 2 a.m. Jan. 13 inside a home on Fifth Street North next to the Old Northside School in West Point.

Police believe the confrontation started in the yard and led into the house where Strong's 80-year-old great-grandmother was held at gun point and then called 911 after Strong was shot multiple times and the suspects fled.

The other suspects are 30-year-old Tymotheans Henry, of Columbus, who is free on $200,000 bond, 27-year-old Jenerrio Demarco Jones, of Memphis and Columbus, who is free on $250,000 bond although he was supposed to be jailed in Lowndes County on a circuit court bond revocation but paperwork never was exchanged, and 21-year-old Joshua Maurice Ewing, of West Point, who remains in the Clay County Jail on $200,000 bond charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Police believe Ewing drove the group away from the scene.