Man accused of killing officer makes 1st court appearance

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Man accused of killing officer makes 1st court appearance
Pamela McKeithen, whose police officer husband was shot in the parking lot of the Biloxi Police Department on Sunday, listens to prayers during a memorial service for Patrolman Robert McKeithen in front of the department on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — The 19-year-old accused of killing a veteran Mississippi police officer smiled and hummed as he was led into court Wednesday but was wearing a knee-length vest the sheriff said is for inmates considered suicide risks.

The Sun Herald reports Darian (DEHR-uhn) Atkinson told Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner he doesn’t know if he needs a public defender because he hasn’t been able to call his family. The judge scheduled a hearing Friday.

Atkinson was in a jail courtroom for his initial appearance on a charge of capital murder in the death of 57-year-old Biloxi Police Patrolman Robert McKeithen (muh-KEETH-en) on Sunday.

Atkinson’s 21-year-old brother told the judge he’ll hire his own lawyer. The judge said Davian Atkinson is accused of driving his brother out of town and letting him make phone calls.