Man accused of murder less than 3 months after being released from prison

Man accused in Clinton murder has been in and out of prison since he was a teen

CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - Markell Woods has been in and out of prison since he was 16-years-old, but was recently released after serving his time. Now, less than three months later, he stands accused of murder.

"I'm just taking it day by day. Mitch was my baby," said Clovis Matthews Sr.

Matthews is the father of the young man killed, Mitchell Matthews. He’s trying to come to terms with the reality of what happened in front of his own eyes. It all started in his yard on Roosevelt Street in Clinton in East Feliciana Parish on Feb. 10. The yard was filled with people, including children, for a birthday party.

“It was basically the culmination of a dispute between some parties and it was basically in the street, in the yard,” said East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Greg Phares. “There were several shooting incidents in Clinton, which culminated with a fatal shooting incident.”

Involved in the dispute were Mitchell Matthews, 33, who lived at the home, and Markell Woods, 22, who drove up to the scene. When things turned physical, Woods allegedly pulled out a gun, started shooting, and kept shooting as he drove off. The victim’s dad says he watched his son stumble away, fighting for his life.

Mitchell Matthews, 33
Mitchell Matthews, 33

"He ran on back inside. When he stepped in the door, he just went down right as he stepped in my front door," said Matthews.

Mitchell died at the hospital. Another person was also shot, once in the backside. Woods was arrested shortly thereafter and charged with first degree murder and attempted first degree murder.

The 9News Investigators have since learned Woods was arrested in June of 2013 by the Clinton Police Department for aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon, aggravated criminal damage to property, and simple assault. While waiting to go to court for that, he was arrested a month later for 1st degree felony theft of a motor vehicle. In April of 2014, he pleaded no contest to lesser charges and was sentenced to five years of hard labor for unauthorized use of a movable. All but two years were suspended. He served just seven months before being released on probation. The next year, he was arrested again by the Clinton Police Department for battery of a police officer, simple criminal damage to property, resisting an officer, and simple burglary. This time, he violated his probation, which is why he was sent back to prison and was released Nov. 19, 2018 after serving all of his time.

Not even three months later, he's now facing murder charges.

“I hope those kids get the maximum, whatever the law gives them and if they get out in 10 to 15 years, that’s going to be what it is. It is what it is,” said Matthews.

Because of a probation hold, Woods has no bond at this time. He’s set to go before a grand jury Mar. 6.

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