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West Point man to serve life sentence in 2012 fatal shooting of Starkville teenager

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NEW ALBANY, Mississippi — A Union County jury has convicted a man in the fatal shooting of a Starkville teenager at a New Year's Eve party in 2012 in West Point.

According to local media reports, 35-year-old Tavaris Collins of West Point was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday in the death of Devin Mitchell. Collins was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Authorities say Mitchell, who played football at athlete at Starkville High School, was visiting relatives at the Ridgewood East Apartments on Mississippi Highway 50 in West Point.

West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley has said fireworks were being set off in the area and Collins told police he thought someone was shooting at him and fired back. Mitchell was shot in the head and died later at a Tupelo hospital.

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