Man found guilty in Forrest County murder, rape trial

Trial of Forrest County murder, rape suspect begins

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A jury convicted William Gillum of capital murder, kidnapping and rape on Friday.

In July 2016, 22-year-old Clayton Bexley was murdered. Gillum was arrested and charged in the murder.

Both sides presented their case before a jury that will decide on Gillum’s fate. Several witnesses testified for both the state and the defense.

The first witness was Bexley’s brother. The defense had him testify and present messages between the two brothers before his murder.

The second witness was from the civil forensics lab in Pearl. He was part of the team that examined the stain cards from the scene two years ago. He confirmed in court that the genetic profiles from the stain cards matched Gillum and the rape victim’s identity.

Another witness from the Gulf Coast Crime Lab conducted a fire arms analysis in an attempt to connect the fire properties of the gun to the crime.

The final witness was the head of the investigation team the night of the murder. He played a recording of an interview with Gillum earlier in his investigation.

The crime

Forrest County Sheriff’s deputies received the call just before 10:45 a.m. on July 15, 2016, in reference to a woman being held against her will and possibly raped, according to former Forrest County investigator Nick Calico.

“The woman said her boyfriend was missing and believed that something happened to him,” said Calico. “She fled from that residence from the suspect.”

Calico said when deputies arrived at the scene in the 1100 block of Carnes Road, a dead man was found in the yard. Forrest County Deputy Coroner Lisa Klem said the man died from at least one gunshot wound.

Gillum was arrested around 2 p.m. after he arrived at the scene, according to Calico.

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