Six Sentenced in Murder of Man at Ridgeland Park

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett, Jr., announced today that Christopher Coleman, Lenzarius Roberts, Darius Farmer, Kaland McCollum, Christopher Tyler, and D’Antonio Guyton, each pled guilty for their part in a drive-by shooting that left one man dead at a local park.

On June 18, 2019, the Ridgeland Police Department was dispatched to the basketball courts at 325 Midway Avenue where 23-year old Kendrell Miller had been shot. A witness stated that a white truck had driven by the park while one of the occupants fired multiple rounds at a group of young men at the basketball courts.

Through a lengthy and extensive investigation, Detectives with RPD were able to identify several individuals in connection with this shooting. Officers discovered that Lenzarius Roberts (who was 16 at the time of the shooting) was engaged in an ongoing feud with another group of boys over the rights to sell marijuana in the area. When Roberts discovered the other boys were at the basketball courts at Midway on this date, he decided to go and confront them. He gathered Coleman, McCollum, Tyler, Farmer and Guyton in a truck and they drove to the park. By all reports, Roberts was driving the van, Coleman (20 years old at the time of the murder) Farmer (22), McCollum (27), Guyton (20), and Tyler (17) were all passengers in the van. Game cameras set up in the area photographed the group in the truck as they drove past the basketball courts, and turned around in a dead end nearby. The passengers then switched around places in the truck, and Roberts drove back towards the courts. Coleman fired the shots that ultimately killed Miller.

All the Defendants ultimately gave statements and agreed that they did not have any ill will towards Miller, and, in fact, some considered him a friend. He was never the intended target and was simply at the park that day to play basketball with friends.

Each man was charged for his various parts in the murder. Roberts and Coleman were both charged with the murder due to the fact that Coleman fired the shots and Roberts both planned the shooting and drove the truck to and from the crime scene. Coleman and Roberts both pled guilty to second degree murder and were each sentenced to thirty years in the custody of MDOC, all of which will have to be served day for day without the possibility of parole. Each of the other four individuals in the truck pled to various charges for their parts in planning and trying to cover up the murder. McCollum pled to drive by shooting and received a sentence of 18 years to serve. Tyler, Farmer, and Guyton all pled to accessory after the fact to murder and received 15 years to serve each.

District Attorney Bramlett stated “It is hard to understand why an innocent bystander playing basketball had to lose his life over a ongoing feud between two groups of young men. I am proud to work with an agency such as the Ridgeland Police Department that spent countless man hours putting together a case that was strong enough that each of the six men in that truck were held accountable for their individual parts of this senseless loss of life.”

Bramlett further explained, “The laws in Mississippi hold that if you are a part of a plan to shoot someone, even if the victim is not your intended target, and even if you are not the one that actually pulled the trigger, you can be held criminally responsible. If you participate in a criminal act, even if just by helping to try to cover it up after the fact, you can be and will be treated as a part of the primary crime in Madison and Rankin Counties. You will go to prison – especially for violent crimes. Unfortunately, the decisions of each of these men led to the death of someone just trying to enjoy an afternoon at a local park. This is inexcusable and for that I am glad that each of these six men will spend a significant amount of time in prison as a result of their actions.”

Name: Christopher Coleman
Date of Birth: 09/17/1998
Pled to: Second Degree Murder; 30 years to serve

Name: Lenzarius Roberts
Date of Birth: 12/04/2002
Pled to: Second Degree Murder; 30 years to serve

Name: Darius Farmer
Date of Birth: 03/18/1997
Pled to Accessory after the Fact to Murder, 15 years to serve

Name: Kaland McCollum
Date of Birth: 07/18/1991
Pled to: Drive by Shooting; 18 years to serve

Name: Christopher Tyler
Date of Birth: 01/05/2002
Pled to Accessory after the Fact to Murder, 15 years to serve

Name: D’Antonio Guyton
Date of Birth: 06/26/1998
Pled to Accessory after the Fact to Murder, 15 years to serve