Mississippi man pleads guilty in 2020 shooting death of teen

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A Mississippi man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of a teenager.

Jacoby Samaji O’Neal, 20, of Belden, was sentenced Friday in Lee County Circuit Court, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.

Tiara Dancer, 17, was killed Jan. 28, 2020, when investigators said O’Neal fired shots during a fight in a Tupelo neighborhood. News outlets reported Dancer was a bystander. She had graduated early from Tupelo High School the month before she was killed.

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O’Neal was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with five suspended. The sentencing order specified he must serve the full 35 years.

The newspaper also reported that O’Neal pleaded guilty to other felony charges Monday in Pontotoc and Monroe counties.