GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder just days before his trial was set to begin in Harrison County.
Friday, William Cullen King, 28, admitted to beating 39-year-old Quintin Brinkley to death with a baseball bat on Feb. 20, 2014.
Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Bourgeois sentenced King to life in prison for the killing.
"The attack came as a complete surprise to Brinkley, who was found lying on the couch with one hand under him and the other still in his pocket. This was a completely senseless killing," said Assistant District Attorney Alison Baker.
According to investigators, the beating happened at a home on Gulf Ave. that both men were known to frequent.
Gulfport police responded to a suspicious medical call after Brinkley was found unconscious on the couch just before noon. Brinkley later died at Memorial Hospital.
Autopsy results revealed Brinkley had been hit in the head with the bat several times.
Witnesses who were at the Gulf Ave. home told authorities King had been there and had gotten into an argument with Brinkley. King was later seen walking on Gulf Ave. carrying a baseball bat.
Investigators said one witness allowed police to record a phone conversation with King, where King repeatedly said he had just killed Brinkley. King also reportedly told a female friend he had beaten the man to death.
"This was a senseless murder of a member of our Gulf Coast community. I am extremely proud of the citizens who came forward to provide evidence to this crime. They did their part to provide justice to the victim's family," said District Attorney Joel Smith.