MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Undra Ward was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Tuesday for the killing of Robert Adams in the 2012 Party City murder.
Police arrested and charged 22-year-old Ward and 21-year-old Joshua Archie with capital murder in December 2012.
We are told that Ward was an employee at Party City. Officials say Archie, a former employee at Party City, shot and killed 68-year-old manager Robert Adams.
Rankin-Madison county District Attorney Michael Guest said, "There is a sense of relief we have now been able to convict one of the two individuals involved in the death of their loved one, and they know that neither our job or Ridgeland police job is done until we bring Mr. Archie to justice for his role in that murder."
Prosecutors say that Undra Ward has now agreed to testify against Joshua Archie. They also say that Ward and Archie planned the robbery together, and that no one was supposed to get hurt.
Michael Guest said, "As we went through the case with the District Attorney's office we were very confident in the evidence we had that we were going to put forward. Were happy with the guilty plea Mr. Ward extended. Were just thankful that this phase is over for the family of party city, also the family of Robert Adams."
Adams answered the back door of the business at closing time on October 26, 2012. He then encountered the gunman, Archie. A struggle ensued as Adams attempted to close the store door and during the struggle Archie fatally shot Robert Adams.
Archie then entered the store wearing a mask and gloves and at gunpoint ordered two other employees who were there at the time to place all the money into a book bag. Archie then left and fled the scene in a white SUV.
Ward stated that he and Archie had planned for several days to commit the robbery and Archie had stolen a vehicle to use in the robbery. He said that on the night of the robbery he texted Archie when the store was closing.
Ward stated that he knew that Archie would be armed but that no one was supposed to get hurt. He said that Archie kept all the money taken in the robbery.
Based upon Ward's cooperation, Archie was arrested and charged with capital murder in the death of Robert Adams.
Madison and Rankin Counties' District Attorney Michael Guest stated, "Ward's cooperation and plea of guilty has greatly strengthened the capital murder case against the gunman Joshua Archie. We hope that we will soon be able to bring Archie to trial for shooting and killing Robert Adams".