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Jackson County man's trial set in killing of popular Biloxi waiter

By Margaret Baker

June 11, 2014

A Nov. 17 trial date has been set for a Jackson County man indicted on a capital murder charge.

Nicholas DeMorst, 23, has pleaded not guilty.

DeMorst is accused in the Jan. 14 shooting death in Gautier of Biloxian Hunter Miller, 26, a popular waiter at The Hook Up restaurant on Biloxi's Back Bay.

Gautier police investigated the case..

Police believe Miller was killed in an attempted prescription drug deal. Police said Miller was shot in the back in his car at Ladnier Road and University Street. His car crashed into a fence at College Park Elementary.

Police used the national database LeadsOnline to search for a suspect based on a partial name provided by a witness, and arrested DeMorst after witnesses identified him in a photo lineup.

Also arrested was Freddie Lee Lawrence, on a charge of accessory after the fact to capital murder.

DeMorst in May pleaded guilty to two armed robbery charges in an unrelated case in Pascagoula.

In that case, he admitted to the June 12, 2012, robberies at gunpoint of a Hancock County couple he lured to Pascagoula through a Craigslist ad for an iPhone. He's scheduled for sentencing July 25 in that case. The state has recommended a 30-year sentence on both charges, with 10 years to serve day for day plus court costs, fines and restitution.

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