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Press Release

Jackson Man Arrested Locally for Murder and Released on Bond Sentenced to Almost Six Years under Project EJECT for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Jackson, Miss. – Cedric Taylor, 45, of Jackson, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette III to 71 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a gun, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Michele Sutphin with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On March 5, 2019, officers with the Jackson Police Department executed a search warrant on Taylor’s residence in Jackson while investigating the murder of Dewan Fortner, a father of nine.  Investigators recovered a firearm at the residence, which Taylor later confessed to knowingly possessing.   While Taylor was arrested for murder in March 2019, he was thereafter released on a $125,000 bond, even though, according to the victim’s family, Taylor admitted in court that he had hid Fortner’s body behind a building in Byram.  This bond was granted despite the fact that Taylor had previous convictions for aggravated assault in Hinds County, Mississippi, and felon in possession of a firearm in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

“This murderer was released on bond by a local judge and would still be roaming the streets of Jackson and terrorizing law-abiding citizens if not for the work of our office and our law enforcement partners under Project EJECT.  When murderers, rapists, and other violent offenders are released on bond by local judges, we are all placed in more danger, our communities and families are made less safe, and criminals are not deterred from continuing their violent activities.  If we are to improve the safety and security of our Capitol City and all of Mississippi, we must ensure that violent offenders are taken off our streets and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.

After being release on a local bond, Taylor was arrested on federal charges on March 29, 2019, of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and has been detained by U.S. Marshals without bond ever since.  Taylor was indicted on August 6, 2019 and pled guilty before Judge Bramlette on February 25, 2020.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was prosecuted by  Assistant United States Attorney Lynn Murray.

This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian. EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.


Updated June 9, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses