BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The older brother of the teenager accused of ambushing Biloxi police officer Robert McKeithen has pleaded guilty to charges in his involvement.
Davian Atkinson appeared in a Harrison Count court Thursday morning, where he pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to capital murder in the shooting death of McKeithen. During the proceedings, Atkinson told the court he gave his brother a ride to Wiggins in the early morning hours of May 6, 2019. He also admitted knowing at that time that his brother was a suspect in the murder of a police officer, and that he was hoping to help him escape capture.
Davian Atkinson and four others who have pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact are set to be sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020.
Davian is the older brother of Darian Atkinson, the teenager who was 19 last year when authorities say he ambushed McKeithen in the parking lot of the Biloxi Public Safety Complex, firing shots that killed the veteran officer.
After a statewide manhunt for the accused killer resulted in Darian Atkinson’s arrest, police then started searching for anyone responsible in helping Atkinson in the 24 hours that he was on the run, which resulted in five more arrests.
Davian Atkinson, Darian and Davian’s other brother Wanya Atkinson, and Darian’s friends Dalentez Latavian Brice, Joshua Michael Kovach and Andre Anderson Sullivan Jr. were all charged with accessory after the fact just days after the murder of McKeithen.
All five suspects convicted of helping Darian Atkinson are each facing a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars and up to a $10,000 fine. Brice, who also pleaded guilty to a charge of hindering prosecution, faces an additional sentence of up to 15 years.
Detectives testified last June that the suspects were seen on video helping Darian Atkinson after the murder was committed.
Kovach and Wanya Atkinson admitted that after arriving at the residence, they assisted Atkinson in changing clothes to conceal his identity as the suspect.
Brice, who did not actively participate in the changing of Atkinson’s clothes, admitted to lying to the police when interviewed, denying both that he knew Darian Atkinson and that he had been at the residence with Darian Atkinson on the night of Officer McKeithen’s murder.