GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulfport teenager was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday by a Harrison County jury, according to District Attorney Joel Smith.
Kobe Augustine, 19, was convicted of killing 16-year-old Nigel Poole, also of Gulfport. Augustine was 15 at the time of the incident.
Augustine’s conviction stemmed from a Jan. 23, 2016, shooting that occurred just before 8 p.m. in a grass alleyway north of 19th Street, between 47th Avenue and 48th Avenue in Gulfport.
Testimony during the three-day trial revealed that when law enforcement and emergency personnel arrived, they located the Poole lying in the grass with two gunshot wounds to his face. Poole was rushed to Memorial Hospital and taken to USA Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day.
Multiple witnesses, who were friends with both teens, identified Augustine as the shooter. The witnesses testified for the jury that, shortly after Poole walked away with Poole, they heard multiple gunshots. Augustine then came running back down the street claiming that a car was shooting at them. Augustine was later overheard telling someone that he had actually shot Poole. Police testified at trial they were able to find Augustine hiding under his bed later that night.
According to testimony from the state medical examiner, the victim was shot twice in the left side of his face.
“The bullets fractured his skull and caused tremendous damage to his brain. Both bullets exited the right side of his head, with one projectile being recovered from the victim’s clothing,” said ADA Jason Josef, who prosecuted the case with Matthew Burrell.
The defense submitted to the jury that Augustine was justified in shooting the victim, arguing that he shot Poole in self-defense because Poole was trying to recover a gun that belonged to him.
The jury also heard from Gulfport Detective Sgt. Christopher Werner, who interviewed Augustine following his arrest. During the interview, Augustine gave multiple different stories, first claiming that he was present for the shooting, then that he and Poole were shot at by individuals in a passing car and finally claiming that Poole tried to rob him and/or assault him.
At trial, Augustine testified and gave yet another version of the shooting.
Augustine’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19, 2019, before Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois, who presided over the trial. The potential sentence for second-degree murder is up to 40 years of incarceration in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.