Murder acquittal caps May-June court session

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2000

A Brookhaven woman charged with murder in her husband’s deathwas found not guilty, and a Yazoo City man was sentenced to fouryears in prison for his attack on an employee at the JuvenileRehabilitation Facility, according to records for the May-June termof Lincoln County Circuit Court.

Sharon Wilson, 35, of 635 Industrial Park Road, was found notguilty after a two-day trial during Judge Keith Starrett’s term.Originally, Wilson had been indicted as an accessory after the factof murder in her husband Murray’s April 7, 1999, death.

However, new insurance policy-related evidence following RobertOdis Thomas’ trial prompted prosecutors to seek a new indictment.For his part in the case, Thomas, 38, was sentenced to 12 yearsafter being convicted of manslaughter and shooting into a vehiclein an August trial.

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Public Defender Lesa Baker said the insurance policy was onlyfor $20,000, and it was a coincidence that it was purchased from adoor-to-door salesman shortly before the incident. During thetrial, Thomas testified to deny Mrs. Wilson’s involvement and saidthe “bad decision” surrounding the shooting was his, Bakersaid.

“There was really nothing that linked her to the actualshooting,” Baker said.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Rushing said the case againstMrs. Wilson was a tough one. He indicated he was not surprised withthe verdict.

“I couldn’t get the jurors to believe the prosecution’s theorybeyond a reasonable doubt,” Rushing said.

In another case, Author Clark, 18, of Yazoo City, pleaded guiltyto an aggravated assault charge stemming from a Feb. 14 attack onLarry Beeson at the Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility. Beesonsustained facial and leg injuries in the incident.

Clark was ordered to serve four years of a 20-year sentence,with the balance on post release supervision, and to pay fullrestitution. Rushing said the sentence was acceptable to allinvolved.

“I think the victim was satisfied with that,” Rushing said.

A case against a juvenile allegedly involved in the attack onBeeson was handled in youth court. Youth court records are notpublic record.

Other defendants who pleaded guilty to crimes and sentenceshanded down during Starrett’s term included:

* Flay Buchanan, 25, of 8702 Highway 17, Pickens — unlawfulpossession of marijuana and cocaine. Sentenced to eight yearssuspended for five years probation and to pay a $20,000 fine.

* Marty W. Martin, 24, of 2790 Pearlie Dr. — third offense DUI.Sentenced to two years suspended for five years probation, $2,000fine, placed in antabuse program and 20 hours of community servicework.

* Victor Sanders, 20, of 2783 Old Highway 51, Wesson — threecounts of burglary. Ordered to serve first two years of totalseven-year sentence with last five on post release supervision,$1,500 fine and a total $2,464 in restitution.

* Dennis Butler, 18, of 314 Ash St. — three counts of burglary.Sentenced to five years suspended upon completion of RegimentedInmate Discipline (RID) program and a term at the restitutioncenter. Also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and a total $2,464 inrestitution.

* Lorenzo Smith, 20, of 900 Williams St. — unlawful sale ofcocaine and a misdemeanor drug charge. Ordered to serve five yearsof a 10-year sentence, with last five on post release supervision,and to pay a $5,000 fine.

* Joshua Michael Walters, 19, of 256 Rogers Circle — grandlarceny, burglary and conspiracy. Sentenced to five years suspendedupon completion of RID, a term at the restitution center, a $1,000fine and to obtain alcohol and drug treatment and GED while inRID.

* Chris Scott Wallace, 17, of 3025 Highway 84, Silver Creek –five separate indictments involving multiple counts of burglary ofautomobiles, burglary, grand larceny and conspiracy. Sentenced to atotal seven years suspended upon completion of RID and a term atthe restitution center, full restitution, obtain GED and alcoholand drug treatment.

* Calvin Paul Thomasee Jr., 22, of 2541 Topisaw Dr., BogueChitto –burglary, grand larceny and conspiracy. Ordered to servethe first three years of a total seven-year sentence with remainderon post release supervision and to pay full restitution.

* Antonio Davis, 23, of 609 Grant St. — sexual battery.Sentenced to four years in prison and to pay a $1,500 fine.

* Michael Leggett, 24, of 301 North Street Dr. — four counts ofuttering forgery. Ordered to serve the first year of a total10-year sentence with remainder on post release supervision, a$1,000 fine, a term at the restitution center and a total of $2,003in restitution.

* Larry Mead, 24, of 1327 Hickory Lane, Bogue Chitto –embezzlement and burglary. Ordered to serve the first four years ofa total six-year sentence with remainder on post releasesupervision and full restitution.

* Lonnie Dale Case, 26, of 1248 Arlington Dr. — burglary of adwelling and possession of a firearm by a felon. Ordered to servethe first three years of a total 15-year sentence with the balanceon post release supervision, a total $1,500 fine, obtain alcoholand drug treatment in prison and pay full restitution.

* Toni Newell, 34, of 1675 California Camp Road — unlawful saleof cocaine. Sentenced to five years suspended upon completion ofRID, a $5,000 fine and restitution.

* Damon Mahoney, 28, of 5032 West Lane Dr. — unlawfulpossession of at least .1 gram of heroin. Sentenced to three yearsin prison, a $1,000 fine and to obtain alcohol and drug treatmentin prison.

Rushing was pleased with the speed with which many of the caseswere handled. He complimented judges and court officials, thecircuit clerk’s office, law enforcement and the public defender’soffice for their efforts to get case disposed of.

“We disposed of a majority of case with the first court termafter they were indicted,” Rushing said. “That’s great.”