Gulfport man pleads guilty to armed robbery, manslaughter
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Last week, 24-year-old Samuel Maurice Bridges of Gulfport pled guilty to a 2019 armed robbery as well as the 2020 killing of Quincy Smothers.
The armed robbery investigation began on September, 15, 2019 when police responded to the Exxon located on 30th Avenue. Witnesses were able to give a description of the suspect and a vehicle used to flee the location. Police canvased the area and located a matching vehicle in the parking lot of the Island View Casino, which was registered to Bridges.
Police also managed to obtain video surveillance from the casino showing Bridges matched the witnesses’ descriptions. GPS data was obtained from his phone, placing Bridges in the area of the Exxon at the time of the robbery.
The investigation into the death of Quincy Smothers began during the early morning hours of July 9, 2020, when Gulfport Police responded to reports of gunfire on Michigan Avenue. Upon arrival, police found Smothers deceased from multiple gunshot wounds. Shell casings and clothing were found near the body of Smothers.
A witness later came forward, stating on the night Smothers was killed, Bridges came over to a house and made the statement, “If he ain’t dead, I ain’t dead.” The witness also told police Bridges hid the gun in a wooded area off of Jackson Street, and then came inside the house and washed his hands with bleach. Police later recovered a 9 mm pistol wrapped in a t-shirt in the area described by the witness.
Investigators were able to determine that the gun located in the woods on Jackson Street was purchased nearly one year prior to the incident by Bridges’ girlfriend.
“Forensic evidence would later confirm that Bridges’ 9mm pistol was used to kill Smothers, and that Bridges’ DNA was on the clothing located at the crime scene,” said Assistant District Attorney Ian Baker, who prosecuted the cases.
At the sentencing, Circuit Court Judge Randi Mueller commented on the epidemic of gun violence, recognizing that in this situation “two families have lost a loved one, one to the grave, and the other to the penitentiary.”
Judge Muller then sentenced Bridges to serve 40 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
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