Ward enters guilty plea in McCoy death

By NEMS Daily Journal

Thomas Ward, whose trial on charges of depraved heart murder in the 2010 death of Anna Catherine McCoy ended in a mistrial earlier this year, has pleaded guilty to culpable negligence, manslaughter, District Attorney Trent Kelley’s office announced late Friday morning.

Ward, 25, of Saltillo went to trial May 1 accused of depraved-heart murder in the April 15, 2010, shooting death of McCoy, a 20-year-old soccer player at Itawamba Community College. The shooting took place at Ward’s home in Saltillo.

He and his attorney, Victor Fleitas of Tupelo, insisted at the time of her death it was a tragic accident, not murder.

District Attorney Investigator Paul Howell said Ward entered the guilty plea Friday before Circuit Judge James Roberts. Ward is being held in the Lee County Jail following the plea.

Ward will be sentence at a later date. Ward faces a minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.