No charges filed in Lee County weekend death

By CHRIS KIEFFER / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Lee County Sheriff’s Department will not file charges for a weekend fight that left a Lee County man dead.
Sheriff Jim Johnson said that the department’s investigation determined that Laranzo Burdine, 19, of 109 West Garrison Drive, struck Ladarrius Walton, 20, in self defense. Walton, who lived on Green Tee Road, was pronounced dead Friday, the day of the incident.
“At this point, we don’t have any reason to charge anyone with it,” Johnson said.
The results of the investigation and Walton’s autopsy will be presented to the grand jury, which could still indict Burdine, Johnson said.
Walton apparently visited the home of his acquaintance Burdine, and the two began arguing. Burdine asked Walton to leave, but he refused, Johnson said. The two men then went outside, and the confrontation continued.
Walton threw the first punch and missed, Johnson said. Burdine then landed a punch. Burdine’s story was confirmed by “two or three” witnesses, Johnson said. He said there were no external cuts indicating that a weapon had been used nor any other evidence of weapons.
The preliminary indication at the emergency room was that Walton died from an injury to the head and some internal bleeding, Johnson said.
“Even if this lick caused that, you are still under the same belief that this guy was trying to get that guy to leave and not cause a problem,” Johnson said.
Deputies were called to the house, located between Verona and Tupelo, around 4:30 p.m. Friday. Burdine was taken for questioning but was released Sunday afternoon, Johnson said.
Neither person had any previous criminal history.
Earlier reports from law enforcement incorrectly described the neighborhood as being in Haven Acres.