Greenville, MS—Terrick Wright, Jr., of Greenville, was convicted yesterday by a Washington County Jury following a three-day trial, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.
During the early evening of Monday, September 16, 2019, officers of the Greenville Police Department were preparing to return to patrol service while leaving the then Delta Regional Medical Center following an earlier call for assistance when they observed a cargo truck drive into the parking lot at a high rate of speed before coming to an abrupt stop. The driver of the truck was identified as Wright. Officers on scene hurried to Wright’s assistance when they observed the lifeless body of Tymoneshia Parson in the passenger area of the truck. They rushed to carry her inside of the ER along with medical personnel. They then attempted to make contact with Wright to obtain any information they could but he became irate, confrontational, and violent—shattering the driver-side window on the truck with a punch. They then took him inside for medical assistance.
Investigators arrived on scene and were advised that Tymoneshia had died. A criminal investigation ensued led by Detective Jeffrey Scott of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division. The investigation revealed that Tymoneshia had been at a local store shortly before being brought to the hospital. Investigators located witnesses from the store who confirmed that she had come to the store earlier that day to apply for a job. She filled out an application and volunteered to come back that same afternoon for training. Toward the end of the two-hour training when Tymoneshia was preparing to leave, the witnesses observed a cargo truck speed past the store before reversing back toward the store and parking. Video from the store showed Wright exit the vehicle and enter the store where he immediately confronted Tymoneshia. The trial jury observed his aggressive hand gestures and movements toward her, with Tymoneshia shrinking back at each one and Wright’s own aunt who was also present extending her hands in a defensive manner as he grew demonstrably angrier. Trial testimony from present witnesses recounted that he ignored their attempts to tell him she had been at the store for training, remaining confrontational, with Tymoneshia never responding in kind. They were all asked to exit the store.
The video showed the defendant push Tymoneshia out of the store then, once they were both outside, strike her in the back of the head with a closed fist. As her knees buckled from the blow, she bent down and covered the back of her head with both hands in anticipation of the assault continuing. The defendant then gripped her neck with both of his hands and pulled her around the truck to the passenger side door. Witnesses at the store relayed to law enforcement how he slammed her head against the truck as he drug her toward the door before going back around to open the passenger door from the inside. The jury heard testimony that after he opened the passenger door, Tymoneshia stood there crying. Wright’s aunt testified that she told the investigators that she tried to tell Tymoneshia to run but she was scared. Tymoneshia stood frozen before Wright demanded that she get in the truck. She got in and he struck her again before driving away from the store.
Officer and investigators were advised of an additional crime scene on Broadway. They traveled to the location where they found Tymoneshia’s shoes and a puddle of blood. The Forensic Pathologist ruled her death a homicide and testified that she sustained numerous blunt force traumatic injuries all over her body from head to toe. They included severe abrasions consistent with road rash caused by falling from or being drug by a moving vehicle and multiple crushing injuries from either being struck or run over by a vehicle, along with fractures of the collar bone, ribs, pelvis, and multiple fractures of her jaw. The autopsy also revealed injuries to her neck consistent with strangulation.
The defendant was brought to the station the following day for questioning. He claimed that Tymoneshia had jumped from the truck because he was yelling at her during what he described as an ordinary couple’s argument and that after she jumped, he tried to catch her but she fell and he felt the rear tires of the truck roll over her body; the pathologist testified that he could not confirm that the crushing injury did in fact result from just being driven over and that, based on the injuries, he could not rule out that she was hit by the truck. The detectives questioned the truthfulness of his claims because he had also claimed that he was calm when talking to her at the store, that he did not assault her, and that he had never threatened her. Even after confronting him with video evidence of the assault and text messages recovered from his phone where he had previously threatened to kill her, the defendant still refused to acknowledge his actions and repeatedly claimed that his behavior was normal and that “all couples have disagreements.” He was charged for the homicide.
The case was presented to a Washington County Grand Jury which returned an indictment for Capital Murder. Mississippi law deems the killing of another during the commission of Kidnapping as Capital Murder regardless of whether the defendant intended to kill the victim.
Assistant District Attorneys Kaylon McCou and Austin Frye prosecuted the case. During jury selection, McCou asked the potential jurors if they could set aside any assumptions they had about the law and follow the law provided in the Court’s instructions. And, during closing arguments, they detailed to the jury how the defendant’s actions at the store constituted a kidnapping because the video, along with witness testimony, clearly demonstrated that he used violence to force Tymoneshia into the truck against her will and that, even assuming she jumped from the vehicle trying to escape from the continued assault, she was killed by or as a result of his actions following the kidnapping.
Following the third day of trial, the verdict of the jury was announced in open court approximately a quarter before 9 o’clock after just under two hours of deliberation—Wright was again convicted of Capital Murder. Capital Murder convictions carry a mandatory sentence of Life Imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Wright was previously convicted of Capital Murder last year by an earlier trial jury and sentenced to Life without Parole, but the trial judge set the verdict aside and ordered a new trial following Wright’s post-trial claims of juror misconduct.
ADAs McCou and Frye are proud to have advocated on behalf of Tymoneshia, her family, and the people of Washington County. “No relationship is perfect and they all have their ups and downs; but there was no evidence to support this defendant’s claims that their relationship was mutually combative. It only showed a one sided verbally and physically abusive trap. He took advantage of Tymoneshia’s nature and the fact that they shared children together. Whatever made him so unreasonable and controlling, there is never an excuse to be so consumed with rage that you violently assault, kidnap, and kill another human being,” McCou added.
The Office of the District Attorney extends its gratitude for the work of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Greenville Police Department, the Forensic Pathologists at the Mississippi Medical Examiner’s Office, and for the patience and cooperation of Tymoneshia’s family. “Even with this second conviction affirming the foundation of the first prosecution, it still will not bring Tymoneshia back to her children and true loved ones—but we continue to hope and pray that it does finally provide some sense of peace, closure, and healing,” Richardson stated.