Habitual Burglar Sentenced To Maximum Penalty

Greenville, MS—Kenneth Johnson pled guilty Monday afternoon in Washington County Circuit Court to two indictments charging Business Burglary, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today.

With both indictments pending on the Court’s docket and one scheduled for trial Monday, Johnson instead pled guilty before Circuit Judge Margaret Carey-McCray. Johnson’s cases stemmed from two indictments handed down by the April 2018 and July 2018 Washington County Grand Juries.

On the mornings of June 1, 2017 and June 2, 2017, officers of the Greenville Police Department were dispatched to the Alexander Street Rick’s Express across the street from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in response to a Business Burglary. On both occasions, employees of the business advised officers that they had arrived to work to find the store in disarray and after viewing the video surveillance, they learned that they had been burglarized. Detectives arrived on scene to initiate an investigation. Greenville Police Officers were quickly able to identify the suspect observed on the store’s camera footage as Kenneth Johnson. The next day, he was taken into custody and confessed to his crimes.

Both cases were presented to the Washington County Grand Jury which returned two separate indictments charging Johnson with Business Burglary as a Habitual Offender in accordance with Section 99-19-83 of the Mississippi Code which mandates that he be sentenced to a term of Life without parole. Johnson had been previously convicted of multiple felony crimes including a prior Business Burglary and Armed Robbery.

The Office of the District Attorney reduced Johnson’s habitual status and allowed him to plead guilty to both indictments as a Habitual Offender under Section 99-19-8. Johnson was sentenced to the maximum term for the crimes charged. Upon the recommendation of the Assistant District Attorney, Johnson was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 7 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections as a Habitual Offender and ordered to undergo long-term alcohol and drug treatment.

The cases against Johnson were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kaylon A. McCou, who offered words of thanks for the work of the Officers and Investigators of the Greenville Police Department: “Our law enforcement officers work hard every day to ensure that Greenville is a safe place for people and businesses. Those who threaten that safety will be brought to justice. It is important that our citizens know that, and on their behalf, we are grateful for the work of the Greenville Police Department.”

Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105

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Our Mission

The mission of the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court, under the direction of
W. Dewayne Richardson, is to seek justice in order to maintain an environment of safety, security and lawful behavior for the citizens of the Fourth District.

The Office of the District Attorney uses lawful and reasonable methods to successfully identify and prosecute those who commit felony crimes. When a crime occurs, the Office of the District Attorney diligently pursues the indictment and conviction of those responsible, while adhering to all rights of the Victim, ensuring the victim is being provided all direct services applicable, and acknowledging all constitutional safeguards for the accused.

The District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth
District’s goal is to work with law enforcement and the judiciary to punish those who break our laws with adequate punishment. Every representative of the Office of the District Attorney pledges their commitment and full support to the protection of all citizens within the Fourth Circuit Court District.


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P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
[P] 662.378.2105
[F] 662.332.4665

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Indianola, MS 38751
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Greenwood, MS 38935
[P] 662.453.1089
[F] 662.451.7291

Judicial Process

Citizen's Involvement in the criminal justice system typically begins with them being a victim, witness, or defendant of a crime. Arrests are made generally by a judge-issued warrant or by a police officer observing a crime in process. Law enforcement may also arrest someone if it has probable cause to believe the person committed a criminal offense. When individuals are arrested they are routinely advised of their Miranda Rights upon arrest, advising them that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say will be used against them in court. On being questioned, defendants have the right to have their attorney present or to have one appointed if they are indigent.

Felony defendants appear at a first appearance and have the charges reviewed. A judge will inquire if the defendant has an attorney. If low income, the defendant may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. No plea is entered at this time unless the defendant wishes to plead guilty or waives indictment and has an attorney present. All felony cases are presented to a grand jury in the county that the crime was committed. In the State of Mississippi, only a grand jury has the authority to indict an individual for a felony offense and require them to stand trial for the charges alleged in an affidavit and indictment.

If an indictment is issued, the defendant is bound over to stand trial or enter a guilty plea to the crimes alleged. When a criminal trial occurs all 12 jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sentences are decided by Circuit Court Judges in all criminal matters. In most cases a recommendation is made regarding imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution.