18 Year Old Gang Member Convicted in Canton Murder

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Fredrick Tyrone Smith, Jr. pled guilty in Madison County to second degree murder and was sentenced to serve forty years in the shooting death of James Ricks.

On January 21, 2014, the Canton Police Department received a 911 call about an individual being shot at a home on Canal Street. When officers arrived at the residence they discovered the victim, James Ricks, lying in the rear bedroom after having been shot once in the torso. Medical personnel began life saving measures in an effort to revive the victim but they were unsuccessful and Ricks died as a result of his injuries.

The Canton Police Department interviewed the homeowner who was present at the time of the shooting. Police learned that Smith and the victim had an argument over a computer. During the argument Smith pulled a small caliber handgun and shot Ricks. Smith then fled the scene on foot.

Police and members of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department went to Smith’s residence. Police surrounded the home and were able get Smith to come out of the house and he was taken into custody. Smith was taken to the Canton Police Department where he was advised of his rights and he agreed to give a statement. Smith admitted to police that he shot Ricks during an argument. Smith also admitted to being a member of the four corner hustlers street gang.

Canton Police performed a gunshot residue collection of Smith’s hands. The gunshot collection kit was submitted to the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory and they were able to identify gunshot residue on Smith’s left hand.

Guest stated, “This was a senseless killing that resulted because of an argument over the use of a computer. We sometimes forget that human live is precious and once a decision is made to take the life of another that decision can never be undone.”

Guest added, “At the time of the shooting, Smith was a 17 year old gang member who walked the streets of Canton carrying a gun. Smith is a dangerous young man who showed no remorse after shooting another individual. The citizens of Madison County are safer and they should sleep better at night knowing that Smith will serve the next 40 years behind bars.”

Guest concluded, “The Canton Police Department and the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory did an outstanding job of investigating this case and obtaining the evidence we needed to prosecute and convict Smith. Their hard work has helped remove a killer from our streets.”

Name: Fredrick Tyrone Smith, Jr.
Date of Birth: 12/28/96
Address: 355 Frost Street