Randall Smith of New Orleans, who faces a murder charge in the death of fellow Jackson State University student Flynn Brown, was granted a $200,000 bond and 270 days of GPS monitoring in a preliminary hearing Thursday in Hinds County Court.
It was not clear Thursday afternoon whether Smith, 20, was still being held or if he had posted bond.
During Thursday’s court proceedings, Smith told the court he killed Brown, 22, in self defense. Brown’s body was found shot to death in a car parked in a parking lot on the JSU campus Dec. 2.
According to WJTV news, Smith told the court Thursday that Brown had taken a bag of doughnuts out of his hands and a confrontation escalated.
“He (Smith) claimed that Brown began to choke him until he couldn’t breathe, so he grabbed a gun and shot Brown in self-defense,” WJTV reports. “Suitemates said they didn’t hear a gunshot, but they heard loud music. One of the suitemates, who is a JSU football player, said he was getting ready for practice when he saw the door open and blood inside. He told one of his coaches who then called campus police.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation initially arrested Smith on Friday, Dec. 2, as a suspect in the shooting.
Sharon Grisham Stewart, Hinds County coroner, confirmed that Brown, a male student at JSU, died of a gunshot wound, according to her preliminary investigation but said the body has been sent to the state crime lab for a full autopsy.
Brown had been a two-year starter at running back and cornerback at Mount Olive High School in New Jersey. He had 227 yards and two touchdowns — one of the best performances in school history — in the Marauders’ first-round playoff loss in 2018, his senior season. He is also tied for the school record with four touchdowns against Chatham in the season opener on Sept. 7, 2018.
Brown graduated from Mount Olive in 2019 and went on play football at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He arrived at Jackson State in the spring of 2022. He had been practicing with the football team and had earned a roster spot for next season, according to Mount Olive assistant football coach Sirajj Ziyad.