In an indictment unsealed today, a former Mississippi sheriff’s deputy was charged with planting a weapon at a crime scene to justify a fatal shooting. The indictment charged Walter Grant, 51, with placing a stick or baton near the body of Willie Bingham Jr. after shooting him, in order to mislead investigators into believing that Bingham had possessed a weapon prior to the shooting.
At the time of the incident, Grant was a sheriff’s deputy in Bolivar County, Mississippi. He has since retired. Grant was tried twice in state court for manslaughter; the jury was twice unable to reach a verdict.
The New York Post reported: [20-year-old Willie] Bingham was suspected of being part of a group breaking into cars outside an auto parts plant. Grant and other officers were pursuing the group in a car chase when Bingham jumped out and ran into a cotton field, where he was shot in the back of the head. Grant told investigators he thought the alleged car thief had a gun but none was found.
If convicted of the federal charge, Grant faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.