George Co. man facing new first-degree murder charge in killing of transgender teen

George Co. man facing new first-degree murder charge in killing of transgender teen
Mercedes Williamson (Photo source: George County Sheriff's Office)
Mercedes Williamson (Photo source: George County Sheriff's Office)

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A George County man has been indicted on a new first-degree murder charge in the killing of a transgender teen from Alabama. A grand jury indicted Josh Vallum on a charge of deliberate design murder.

A grand jury previously indicted Vallum on a murder charge in December for the killing of Mercedes Williamson, born Michael Wilkins.

It's a case that shook the quiet Rocky Creek community when Williamson's body was found in a wooded area off Odom Rd. on June 2, 2015.

Investigators said Williamson was found beaten to death and buried on property belonging to Vallum's father.

Vallum turned himself in to authorities in George County the same day the body was found. Investigators said Vallum admitted to killing the teen, but he has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Investigators used DNA evidence from Williamson's family members to confirm her identity. A judge ordered Vallum to turn over a DNA sample in March.

Vallum has remained behind bars on a $1 million bond since his arrest.

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