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Ex-Mississippi officer charged with planting weapon after deadly shooting

By Ray Downs
Ex-Mississippi officer charged with planting weapon after deadly shooting
A former Mississippi police has been charged with evidence tampering, for supposedly planting a weapon at the scene of a deadly shooting in 2013. File Photo by UPI/Shutterstock/Jaromir Chalabala

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.

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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.

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Grant has since retired from the Bolivar County Sheriff's Department.

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