One of the men charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Paul’s Jewelry owner Jamie Iverson was acquitted in an April 2019 armed robbery of a Family Dollar store in the Jackson area, but according to one of the arresting officers, it was one of the strongest cases he said he had ever taken into a courtroom.
Ridgeland Police Lt. Brian Myers spoke to The Enterprise-Tocsin this week about the arrest and trial of Daquarius Wright, who was 19 at the time of the incident. He was acquitted and set free this past October.
Wright and his brother Kenterius Wright were both booked into the Sunflower County Jail on Wednesday afternoon after being apprehended in the Jackson area, thanks to a tip, police said. Neither was granted bond by Sunflower County Justice Court (Northern District) Judge Lisa Bell.
Both face a single capital murder charge in Iverson’s death, which took place just before 11 a.m. at Paul’s Jewelry in downtown Indianola last Friday.
Myers said of the 2019 incident that a suspect entered the Family Dollar store and told the cashier that he was a skateboarder from California. He eventually pulled a gun out and robbed the store, taking money from the cash register.
“We ended up getting the vehicle on video,” Myers said, which police located within 24 hours of the crime. “Wright was apprehended at the vehicle. He was still wearing the same clothes from the robbery. Still had the same bandana around his neck that he used in the robbery. You could see the tattoos on his hand matched the tattoos in the video. He had a wad of cash in the front pocket of his jacket. He had a gun in the front of his pants that matched the description of the gun in the robbery. We had it on video. We had very good video.”
Myers also said the suspect had a distinctive ponytail coming out of the back of his hat that could be seen in the video during the robbery.
“And he was still wearing the same hairstyle,” Myers said. “He was just the spitting image of our suspect in the video, and we caught him about 24 hours (after) the actual crime.”
Myers said Wright did not confess.
“But we knew we had the right guy,” the officer said.
Wright was held on a $250,000 bond. He remained in the Madison County Detention Center until his acquittal last fall.
The trial ended up taking place in October 2020, Myers said, right in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Myers said he, nor any of the other officers or prosecutors, have ever been able to say definitively what caused the jury to acquit Wright, but he said he strongly believes it was because Wright never removed his mask in the presence of the jury. In other words, they could not see his face.
“I really blame that on why he was acquitted, but he was acquitted by the jury on that robbery,” Myers said. “It was one of the strongest cases I’ve seen come to trial. Normally when somebody is fingered that well, if there’s that much evidence against them, I would expect them to plead guilty. This one goes to trial, and he ends up walking on it…He had to have the mask on in the court. When he was in the presence of the jury, he had a mask on. I don’t know that was the sure enough problem with the case. I can’t imagine what else it was.”
Myers said that Wright’s defense attorney also floated the notion that it could have been his brother, Kenterius Wright, who bears a resemblance to him, who committed the armed robbery.
“His brother was actually mentioned as part of his defense, because his attorney actually mentioned in the trial it could have been his brother, and I think that further helped the beyond a reasonable doubt situation,” Myers said.
Myers said the loss stung so badly that he and other officers involved in the case called a meeting with the state’s prosecutors.
“We actually met with the assistant district attorneys who tried the case, our prosecuting attorneys for the state, and asked, ‘What did we do wrong on this?’ because this was such a strong case,” Myers said. “The detective who actually investigated the case, this was her first major case to work, and she was just crushed about it, because she worked so hard and really thought it was a strong case. She learned first-hand how hard it is to get a guilty verdict.”
The loss stung even more when Myers learned Daquarius Wright had been implicated in the Iverson murder.
“What’s heartbreaking about this is, we really thought we had somebody, and we really thought we were going to be able to put somebody away who we felt was dangerous to the community,” Myers said. “He gets out and what does he do a few months later?”
It’s a case that Myers never could shake after the October 2020 acquittal, and it’s likely one that will stick with him even longer if Daquarius Wright is indeed tried and found guilty in the Indianola murder.
“I lost sleep over this one for sure,” Myers said. “I could not believe he walked on this one. I was blown away.”