JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Hinds County jury found Zebulum James guilty of first-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
James was on trial for the murder of 48 year old Suzanne Hogan in Jackson in November 2015. Police said he shot and killed her randomly during a shooting spree across the city. He is also accused of shooting at a Jatran bus, firing into a house and running over a man’s leg repeatedly with his car.
“I am very pleased with the outcome for the families of the people that James terrorized.” Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said.“The gratitude expressed by the victims and family members of the victims made these convictions especially meaningful."
Family members said James was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 17 years old, but he was not taking his medication at the time of the shootings.
James told the court he was an excellent student and good person until a psychotic episode at age 16. He said he also had a child, dropped out of school and had to work. He said he was not allowed to see his child and all those pressures led to time spent in the Brentwood Behavioral facility.
“It’s just sad and that’s why I can’t even look up because you know it’s shameful and horrible things occurred that night. I can never take them back,” said James on the witness stand.
The jury took less than an hour of deliberating to agree on a guilty verdict.
James was sentenced to life in prison plus five years for shooting into an occupied vehicle.
James also faces murder charges in Madison County for the murder Kristy Mitchell in Ridgeland, which happened on the same night as Hogan’s murder.