Several violent offenders recently sentenced to Prison
Greenville, MS – In Washington County Circuit Court, several defendants have recently been sentenced for committing violent crimes within our community, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced.
Damien Cooper, 22 yoa, was scheduled to stand trial earlier this month but he opted to plead guilty to his actions. Cooper was facing a charge of 1st Degree Murder and he faced a potential penalty of Life in prison. In open court, Damien Cooper admitted his guilt in that he shot Larry Triplett, Jr. here in Greenville, MS on September 9, 2013. Cooper pled guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and was sentenced to 38 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. After entering his plea of guilty Damien Cooper was remanded to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections where he will serve the duration of his sentence. Earlier this year Cooper pled guilty to another shooting and agreed to testify against his co-defendant Bennie Motton. Motton subsequently pled guilty and received a 38 year sentence.
On yesterday, Terrance Morgan, 26 yoa, pled guilty to his role in the August 25, 2012 robbery and shooting of a Greenville woman and to his role in the Auto Burglary of Lawrence “Shine” Thornton’s property on October 18, 2013. The burglary occurred after two other Greenville men killed Mr. Thornton. Terrance Morgan faced several charges that had been handed down by Washington County Grand Juries and he pled guilty this week to Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Auto Burglary, and two Conspiracy Charges. Morgan was sentenced to a total of 28 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, where he will serve the first 23 years in prison without any opportunity for early release or parole. Morgan has agreed to testify against the others involved in his crimes.
Earlier today in Washington County Circuit Court, Henry Gibbs, Jr., 64 yoa, pled guilty in the middle of his trial for the charges of Armed Robbery and Car Theft. Gibbs’ trial began yesterday evening when residents of Washington County appeared for jury selection. This morning after the jury was selected and after District Attorney Dewayne Richardson gave his opening statement Gibbs pled guilty. In open court Gibbs admitted to robbing an elderly Greenville resident with a handgun and stealing her car back in 2007. Since he committed this crime on January 18, 2007, Gibbs had been in custody in Illinois for other felony charges. Recently Henry Gibbs was brought back to Mississippi to answer to the crimes he committed. Gibbs was sentenced to 13 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections where he will serve the first 8 years without any opportunity for early release or parole.
Richardson added that, “the District Attorney’s office feels that justice has been served by these defendants being brought to justice. What’s most important is that all of these inmates will now serve mandatory time without any opportunity for early release or parole. I would like to thank the Greenville Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for their tireless efforts in solving these cases.”
April 29, 2015
Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson
District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105
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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.
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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.
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
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Indianola, MS 38751
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
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.
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