After a five-day trial in Yazoo County, Jelani Miles was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault and shooting into an occupied dwelling last Friday and sentenced to life in prison.
It was a case that took some dramatic turns over the last several years with the makings similar to a crime thriller. From a dead witness to shots fired inside homes, it was a case that had many witnesses fearing for their lives.
But it all came to closure last week with Miles being convicted of the murder of Cortez Tate and the aggravated assault of Perry Hollins.
Circuit Court Judge Jannie Lewis-Blackmon sentenced Miles to life plus 20 years in prison.
District Attorney Akillie Malone-Oliver said she is pleased with the case’s outcome, which took almost a decade to close. She was joined by Assistant District Attorney David Linzey in prosecuting the case on behalf of the state.
“The mothers of Cortez Tate and Perry Hollins screamed tears of joy for finally getting justice for their sons,” Malone-Oliver said. “Perry Hollins was an original witness in a previous case that ended in a mistrial. He was killed the morning before he was scheduled to testify against Jelani Miles.”
Malone-Oliver said Miles remains a suspect in Hollins’ murder case, which is still pending.
Miles was only 19 years old when he was charged with the murder of Cortez Tate in October of 2011.
Tate was shot multiple times on Ethel Street in Yazoo City while sitting inside a vehicle. He was struck three times from shots fired from a high-powered rifle and died two days later.
Perry Hollins, who was 28 years old at the time, was a witness to the brutal crime. He was the passenger in the Tate was driving when he was shot in the head that October night.
Hollins was scheduled to testify in the trial against Miles, but he was murdered near the location of the original shooting less than 24 hours before he was to take the stand.
Hollins was discovered in ide an overturned car on Rainbow Street with gunshot wounds to his head.