Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A former Mississippi police officer has been indicted for evidence tampering after fatally shooting a man four years ago, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Walter Grant was a sheriff's deputy in Bolivar County, Miss., when he killed Willie Bingham Jr. on March 12, 2013, after the officer approached him and a group of men for allegedly breaking into a car.
Officials said Bingham and the men fled in a vehicle and Grant pursued. The vehicle stalled and Bingham ran into a cotton field.
Authorities said Grant caught up to Bingham and shot him, killing the 20-year-old man.
Prosecutors say Grant, 51, subsequently placed a wooden baton next to Bingham's body in an effort to make it appear he had a weapon.
Grant has denied planting the baton and said he believed Bingham had a gun. Investigators found that Bingham was not armed.
Mississippi state prosecutors charged Grant with manslaughter in 2015, and he's been tried twice in state court. Both trials ended in a hung jury.
Bingham had no prior criminal record prior to the shooting, according to the Mississippi NAACP, which has advocated for charges against Grant.
Grant has since retired from the Bolivar County Sheriff's Department.