September 8, 2016 1:23:56 PM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Editor's note: An updated version of this story is available.
A Lowndes County grand jury has indicted former Columbus police officer Canyon Boykin in the shooting death of Ricky Ball.
Boykin's attorney Jim Waide of Tupelo confirmed the indictment to The Dispatch on Thursday afternoon. Waide said Boykin has not been served the indictment, so he has not seen the charge. However, he noted based on information he received from the prosecutor in the case, he expects Boykin will face a manslaughter charge.
Boykin will served and arraigned at the Lowndes County Circuit Court on Friday, Waide said.
An indictment means that a grand jury has found sufficient evidence to formally charge an individual with a crime.
Boykin is accused in the Oct. 16, 2015, fatal shooting of 26-year-old Ball. The incident occurred after an attempted traffic stop near the intersection of 21st Street North and 15th Avenue North. Ball, police said, was a passenger in the car being stopped and fled on foot.
He was subsequently shot twice, according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle after officers found him on the ground roughly a block-and-a-half from the traffic stop site.
Authorities said a 9mm pistol was found nearby. State authorities, as part of their investigation, were conducting tests on the firearm to see if Ball possessed it at any time. The pistol, according to city officials, had been stolen from a CPD officer's home in the months prior to Ball's death.
Boykin did not turn his body camera on before or during the shooting incident. He also reportedly had an unauthorized passenger riding with him in his patrol car.
The city council later fired Boykin. He has since filed a federal lawsuit against the city, in which he claims Ball pointed a pistol at him prior to the shooting.
Ball's family filed a notice of intent in July to sue the city for his death. Mose Lee Sudduth, a Vernon, Alabama, attorney representing the family, declined to comment extensively on Boykin's indictment. However, he told The Dispatch the family is pleased to see the case moving forward.
"Obviously the family is relieved that something is being done," Sudduth said.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation completed a review of the case and sent it to District Attorney Scott Colom in June. A month later, Colom handed the case to a special prosecutor appointed by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.
The AG's office did not return requests for comment Thursday.
Ball's shooting happened in Ward 4, and the ward's councilman Marty Turner said he hopes the city can begin to move forward as Boykin's case moves forward.
"Now it's time for the city to start healing," Turner said. "As this case comes to a close, because I know it's not going to come to a close tomorrow, we're hopefully going to start seeing evidence and a justice system that works for all."
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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