- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - An arraignment is set for Monday for a former Biloxi firefighter accused in the shooting death of a Waffle House waitress.

A grand jury indicted Johnny Max Mount, 45, on a charge of first-degree murder in the Nov. 27 killing of Julie Brightwell.

Mount’s attorney, Jim Davis, tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/22XDffq) he will not waive the arraignment.

The arraignment will be before Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson.

During an arraignment, a judge reads the formal charges, a plea is entered and a trial date is set.

“(Mount) will enter a not guilty plea at this time,” Davis said Thursday.

According to court records, Mount was seated at a counter when Brightwell told him he couldn’t smoke his e-cigarette inside the Biloxi restaurant.

He became angry, court records say, and pulled a 9 mm handgun from his waist.

When Brightwell saw the gun, records say, she ducked behind a counter but Mount got up, leaned over the counter and shot her once in the head. She died a short time later at Merit Health Biloxi.

Brightwell had been a Waffle House employee for eight years and had been asked to help open the new restaurant near Edgewater Mall in June 2014.

A friend of Mount’s family said he was not a “monster,” and something must have “snapped” in him.

Mount lost a leg and suffered a traumatic brain injury on Christmas Eve 2002 after he was hit by a car as he stood in the middle of U.S. 49 in Gulfport.

He had worked at the Biloxi Fire Department for 10 years.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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