UPDATED: Swims told jury gun ‘went off three times’ during argument with wife

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more information about the day David Lee Swims Jr.’s murder case.

Swims guilty of second-degree murder

On Thursday, Sept. 21, David Lee Swims Jr., was found guilty of the second-degree murder of his wife, Anteeatta “Tee” Archie Swims in Lafayette County Circuit Court. The jury reached the decision after three hours of deliberation.

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After the verdict, Swims, who had been on bond for the previous two years, was taken into the custody of the sheriff’s department.

Shalanda Cooke, Tee’s sister, said, “We are grateful justice was done.” She went on to describe how “none of it will ever bring my sister back to life.”

Tee’s family wants to keep her memory alive and wants her to be remembered as a loving sister and educator who “loved with a full heart.”
Tee, a South Panola School District staff member, was found dead in her home in The Lakes in Oxford on June 11, 2021. Swims was with her remains for over two days before alerting the police.

While testifying on Wednesday, Swims shared that he and Tee were facing marital challenges, with both having strayed. Yet, he claims they chose to mend their relationship. They lived in the same residence but stayed in separate rooms, he said.

Due to a past accident, Swims uses a wheelchair. He testified that he went to his wife’s room for his shoes at approximately 7:30 a.m. the morning of her death.

During that instance, they had a heated exchange of words, and he claimed after a struggle, the gun that he said his wife kept beside her bed “went off three times.”

Mitchell Driskell, Swims’ defense attorney, emphasized his client’s limited mobility due to being wheelchair-bound, suggesting it impacted his ability to escape the situation.

In Mississippi, those convicted of second-degree murder face 20 to 40 years in prison. Sentencing will be in October.