Accessory suspect in Cotton District murder gets new attorney

Brandon Sherrod, center, stands in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court with his former attorney Amanda Meadows (left) after Meadows requested a withdrawal from representing Sherrod. (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Ryan Phillips
Staff Writer

A judge has granted a request for a new attorney by a Lowndes County man charged with accessory to murder in the 2016 fatal shooting of a Mississippi State University student in Starkville’s Cotton District.

Oktibbeha County Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens on Thursday granted a motion for Amanda Meadows to withdraw as legal counsel for 21-yearold Brandon Sherrod, after she said he has not complied with obligations and agreements of her representation.

Meadows filed the motion in June.

Court documents show Sherrod’s actions have “deteriorated the attorney-client relationship, including the communications between defendant and counsel.”

Judge Kitchens then appointed public defender Mark Williamson to represent Sherrod.

He is currently free on $50,000 bond after Judge Kitchens reduced his bond from $500,000 in May.

Ahead of his bond being reduced, Sherrod had previously entered a not guilty plea to the accessory charge in April.

Sherrod was indicted by a grand jury in November 2017, after he was accused of playing a role along with three others and Jaylen Barker in the shooting death of 21-year-old Joseph Tillman on Maxwell Street near Stagger In.

At the time of his death on Nov. 6,2016, the native of Schlater was a senior at MSU majoring in marketing.

The shooting occurred during an armed robbery at about 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2017.

Syboris Pippens and Tyler Demond Harris were also charged with accessory.

Harris, who was 16 years old at the time of the shooting, was initially released by the Starkville Police Department.

The Starkville Daily News previously reported all four of the men charged in the shooting are from the Lowndes County and Columbus area.

Barker was indicted for capital murder and possession of a stolen firearm in November 2017 and his case was continued this week until Oct. 29, according to Oktibbeha County Circuit Court records.

Following his indictment, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The stolen firearm charge resulted from Barker being in possession of a SWD .9mm handgun. Despite initially being charged with accessory, Pippens was indicted on a single count of capital murder along with Barker, but his case was also continued until the same day as Barker’s next court appearance on Oct. 29.