Charges Upgraded To Capital Murder In Gautier Teen's Death - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/09/05

Charges Upgraded To Capital Murder In Gautier Teen's Death

Murder charges against a Gautier man have been upgraded.

Sheriff Mike Byrd tells WLOX that 20-year-old Josh Riser has been re-arrested and is now charged with capital murder in the death of high school student, Michael Meldren.

Meldren was found dead in the woods February 12th in Vancleave. He was shot twice in the head.

The charges were upgraded to capital murder because Sheriff Byrd says they now believe a burglary and drugs were involved.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence has asked for a special prosecutor in the case against Riser because his mother, Kim Riser, worked with Lawrence for many years.

She joined the D.A.'s office in January of last year when Lawrence became District Attorney. She has since resigned.

Lawrence says he has recused his entire office from working on the case to avoid any appearance of conflict, and to ensure a fair prosecution.

We'll have more on the story later today on WLOX News.

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