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Murder charge refiled against suspect in deadly Jefferson City shooting

Semaj Harris
Courtesy Cole County Sheriff's Office
Semaj Harris mugshot.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Prosecutors have filed murder charges against a Jefferson City man for a second time in connection with a 2018 killing.

Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson on Tuesday charged Semaj Harris with several felonies including second-degree murder. He also charged Harris with accessory to delivery of a controlled substance, armed criminal action, illegal gun possession and accessory to tampering with physical evidence.

Each charge is a felony.

Harris pleaded guilty in May in connection with the death of 19-year-old Nilez Nichols during what police have called a botched drug deal. A judge sentenced him to five years in prison.

Thompson said at the time that Harris agreed to cooperate in the investigation into co-defendant Bruce Thomas. Thomas pleaded guilty last week to first-degree robbery after being charged initially with second-degree murder.

Thompson declined to comment about the refiling Wednesday.

Nichols was killed in November 2018 in what court documents say was a marijuana deal.

Those documents say Harris and Thomas arrived at a home in the 1900 block of Stadium Boulevard, where Thomas intended to steal the drugs. Documents say Thomas told police he struggled with someone over a gun and he and Harris ran from the home as Nichols gave chase.

Court documents say someone fired back at Nichols, but they don't make it clear who shot the gun.

Another man, Berry Jones, is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, accessory to delivery of a controlled substance and accessory to tampering with evidence.

Cole / Court and Trials / Drugs / Email Alert – Breaking News / Homicide / Jefferson City / News / Shooting / Top Stories
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Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.

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