A Clarksdale man was sentenced to life in prison after a Coahoma County jury recently found him guilty in the 2013 killing of a 61-year-old grocery store owner the day after Christmas.
Cedric Collins, 24, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster on Jan. 25 after the jury found him guilty of capital murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. Collins was transported Jan. 30 from the Coahoma County Jail to the North Mississippi County Jail, where he will start his incarceration.
Collins was found guilty by the jury after a three-day trial held at the Coahoma County Courthouse.
The jury found that Collins shot and killed Davis Goon in Goon’s grocery store on Martin Luther King Drive and Tallahatchie Street on Dec. 26, 2013.
Collins’ arrest on Jan. 4, 2014, came after a manhunt that lasted the better part of a week.
Two other males, Justin Booker, 15, and DeShawn Shields, 17, were arrested on Dec. 29, 2013. They were also initially charged with capital murder as police at the time believed the three suspects shot Goon while robbing the store.
An indictment claimed the trio allegedly entering the store at about 6:45 p.m. Dec. 26, 2013, demanding money and then finally taking the cash register before shooting Goon in the chest.
At the time, Goon was the second owner of a Chinese grocery to be killed in two years in Clarksdale. Yuk Lee, who owned Lee’s Quick Pic on Oakhurst, was murdered Dec. 26, 2011.
As detailed in a story in the Jan. 2, 2014, issue of the Press Register, Goon himself saw the neighborhood around his store shift from prosperous to nearly abandoned.
When his father opened the store, it was in the heart of the New World area, a part of Clarksdale that was home to some of the most popular African-American businesses. In those days, the city was thriving, and so was the grocery. Goon recalled that once, across the street, the first Kroger’s in Clarksdale opened.
Goon’s was the last neighborhood market downtown.
Many sons and daughters of the Chinese store owners left Clarksdale after they went away to college, but not Goon. He got a degree in marketing and finance, and he could have gone anywhere to work, but he returned to Clarksdale to take over the family business.
“Most of the kids got educated and left,” Goon said at the time. “I got educated and came back. I don’t know why. Well, I do. I came back for my parents.”