Gautier man pleads guilty to killing teenager

Published 2:11 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

A Gautier man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the 2005 slaying of a high school student.

Joshua Riser pleaded guilty Wednesday in Harrison County Circuit Court to manslaughter and armed robbery in the death of 18-year-old Michael Meldren, a senior at Gautier High School.

Meldren’s body was found Feb. 12, 2005, in a wooded area off Mississippi Highway 57 in Vancleave. Meldren had been shot twice in the head.

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Prosecutors say Riser killed Meldren for money and drugs.