Mississippi Crime & Community News

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April 20, 2022

Smith County man convicted in his nephew’s murder

Therese Apel

Douglas Craft
Austin Spivey was shot to death by his uncle in 2018

A Smith County man was convicted recently in the shooting death of his nephew.

According to District Attorney Chris Hennes’ office, Douglas Craft, 61, was convicted of second degree murder for the July 8, 2018, shooting of his nephew, Austin Spivey, 20. Craft claimed he had shot Spivey in self-defense, but the jury didn’t see it that way, Hennes said.

Hennis and Assistant District Attorney Chris Purdum prosecuted the case. Judge Stanley Sorey sentenced Craft to twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Douglas Craft will have to serve it day for day.

“This senseless act of violence took the life of a 20 year old young man, who from all accounts was a very respectful, mild mannered person, and who had a bright future ahead of him,” Hennes said.

He went on to thank the Smith County Sheriff’s Department and Investigator Jamie McClellan “for the thorough investigation that was conducted and because of which, we were able to obtain a guilty verdict.”

“I also want to thank my entire staff for their tireless work and effort on this case,” Hennes said. “Many hours were spent by my assistant district attorneys, investigators and victim’s assistance coordinator preparing this case to be brought to trial.”

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