Capital murder suspect says deadly shooting was in self defense

Jawara Harris (Photo source: Gautier Police Dept.)
Jawara Harris (Photo source: Gautier Police Dept.)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A capital murder suspect accused of killing a Gautier man two weeks ago is now claiming he shot in self defense. Jawara Harris, 34, made his first court appearance Monday since being arrested for the deadly shooting of Cornelius Rashad Ramey, 25.

A chained and shackled Jawara Harris walked in the courtroom Monday to formally hear his capital murder charge. Police are accusing him of gunning down Cornelius Ramey in his truck in the College Park Subdivision.

"He was initially charged with basic murder statue here in Mississippi," Sgt. Matt Hoggatt said. "After a thorough looking into the facts of the case and evidence, and confirming with the district attorney's office, his charge was upgraded to capital murder because we believe that a commission of felony was occurring during the course of the homicide. That felony being robbery."

But Harris seems to have a different account of what happened the day of the shooting. He told the judge Monday, "I was a victim, it was in self defense, and I don't know what the D.A. is doing."

Gautier Police believe Ramey and Harris actually knew each other. Investigators are now looking at drugs and money as possible motives for this deadly shooting.

"Certainly part of the investigation has pointed us towards both of those things, narcotics and money. Nowadays, it's more and more common thing to find associated with violent crimes, but we are looking at all aspects of everything. We are open to certainly anything and this investigation is still going on.

The judge has set a $500,000 bond for Jawara Harris.

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