HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The charges for a suspect held in connection to the City of Hattiesburg's first homicide of 2015 have been upgraded and a bond has been set.
James Price, 55, was charged with manslaughter in the Wednesday stabbing death of William Allbritten Jr. and early Friday morning, the charges were upgraded to murder.
Price made his initial appearance where his bond was set at $1 million.
Hattiesburg Police responded to a wooded area behind Our Place Bar & Grill in the 1900 block of Lincoln Road just before 5 p.m.
When police arrived they found a male victim, William C. Allbritten Jr., 56 of Hattiesburg, suffering from what appeared to be a stab wound in the upper left portion of his chest.
Shortly after police arrested Price, in connection to the crime. Price was booked in to the Forrest County Jail and was originally charged with manslaughter, homicide without malice, according to Hattiesburg Police Detective Sgt. Branden McLemore.
Allbritten was taken by AAA ambulance to Forrest General Hospital where shortly after the incident he died from his injuries.
According to Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict, the manner of death is ruled a homicide, and the cause of death was from a single stab wound to the chest.
The body has been sent to the Mississippi State Crime Lab in Jackson for an autopsy.
According to witnesses on scene that saw the victim on a stretcher, the stab wound was very small. They added that the paramedics literally wiped away blood from the wound and it was a very small wound.
Authorities set up a crime scene perimeter behind the business and alongside Fowler Street. Members of the Hattiesburg Crime Scene Unit searched the wooded area and homeless camp for the evidence.
According to McLemore, the victim and suspect did know one another, and an altercation led to the stabbing.