Petal man pleads guilty for role in 2016 shooting death

Petal man pleads guilty for role in 2016 shooting death
James Windham faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. (Source: Hattiesburg Police Department)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A 24-year-old Petal man will be sentenced in January after pleading guilty Thursday for his role in a 2016 shootout that left one dead after a drug deal went bad.

James Windham pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett to “aiding and abetting the carrying and use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.”

Windham is scheduled to be sentenced by Starrett on Jan. 12, 2021. He faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

According to a Department of Justice/U.S. Attorney’s Office/Southern District of Mississippi release, Windham and a co-defendant met on June 26, 2016, with a third person at the Mugshots restaurant in Hattiesburg to sell two ounces of marijuana.

The release said Windham brought along his co-defendant as an armed enforcer and a backup in case the drug deal turned sour.

According to the release, at least one firearm was discharged between Windham and the co-defendant, which led to multiple rounds being fired and the death of 20-year-old Corey Husband.

Following the shooting, Windham and his co-defendant fled the scene, discarding the marijuana and all firearms discharged during the shooting, the release said.

The Hattiesburg Police Department recovered the marijuana and firearms shortly after the incident, according to the release.

Windham and his co-defendant were indicted on June 25, 2019.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Hattiesburg’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and HPD investigated the case.

Fifteenth Circuit Court District Attorney Hal Kittrell and his office were instrumental in guiding early investigative steps in the matter and involving federal partners.

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