HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man has pleaded guilty to two counts of accessory after the fact to second-degree murder in relation to the shooting at a Pass Christian Mardi Gras parade.
District Attorney Joel Smith said Jermaine Rashod Ratcliff, 27, pleaded guilty to the charges Thursday afternoon. He will be sentenced when the open cases against his co-defendants are resolved. Ratcliff was originally charged with second-degree murder in the case.
Two people were killed and three others were injured in the Feb. 7, 2016 shooting after the St. Paul Carnival Association parade. Investigators identified Carlos Bates, 29, and Isaiah Major III, 43, as the men killed in the gunfire.
Malcolm Dedeaux, Donald Dedeaux, and Jessie Lee Williams, Jr. were indicted for second degree murder in December 2016.
According to Smith, Ratcliff was at the parade that day with his girlfriend and Williams, who is his brother. Ratcliff reportedly knew Malcolm had been involved in a dispute with Charles, who was also at the parade.
Ratcliff and Williams reportedly met up with the Dedeauxs after the parade and walked toward the intersection of Davis Ave. and Ladnier St. to confront Charles.
During the confrontation, people from both groups pulled out guns and several shots were fired, according to investigators. Ratcliff told police he pulled his gun and hid behind a vehicle but never fired.
After the shooting, Ratcliff reportedly handed over his gun to Donald. Ratcliff said he knew people had been killed and injured in the shooting, but lied to police about what happened.
Ratcliff faces up to 40 years in prison for the accessory charges and an additional 10 years for an unrelated gun charge, which he pleaded guilty to.
Malcolm Dedeaux, Donald Dedeaux, and Jessie Williams are set to go to trial Oct. 2.