GREENVILLE, Miss. (CN) — A former Mississippi sheriff’s deputy faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of a grand jury indictment, unsealed Wednesday, accusing him of evidence tampering by planting a weapon near the body of a man he shot to death in 2013.
The one-count indictment accuses former Bolivar County sheriff’s Officer Walter Grant with placing a stick or baton near the body of Willie Bingham Jr., 20, to make it appear he had a weapon when Grant shot him in the back of the head. Bingham was black, as is Grant.
Grant is free on $10,000 bond after pleading not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jane Virden on Wednesday. He was tried twice for manslaughter in state court. Both trials ended in hung juries.
According to the Sept. 9 indictment, unsealed Wednesday, Grant “placed a stick or baton by the body of Willie Bingham, Jr., in order to mislead investigators … in order to justify the shooting.”
The judge set a trial date for Dec. 11.