Ellison Lafayette Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
Greenville, MS – With a jury pool drawn from across Washington County and ready to hear his case, Ellison Lafayette, 32 yoa, chose to plead guilty to causing the death of William Taylor, 51 yoa. Circuit Judge Richard Smith accepted Lafayette’s guilty plea to the charge of Manslaughter and withheld sentencing until a later date. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison.
Lafayette was charged in the death of William Taylor following an incident that took place on Thanksgiving Day in Greenville in 2019. That day also happened to be Mr. Taylor’s birthday. Lafayette had come to Taylor’s home and following an argument struck the 51-year-old victim in the back of the head. Taylor sustained serious injuries and had to be transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he died. Several members of Taylor’s family were present and witnessed the incident and were prepared to testify about what they witnessed in the death of their loved one.
John Herzog Jr. prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office. Herzog said “Lafayette finally took responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to the charge of Manslaughter. His actions took a family member away from his loved ones on Thanksgiving, a day where families should be able to gather together in peace.”
Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105
HARRIS SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR ITTA BENA MURDER
Greenwood, MS – Jadarius Harris, 23 yoa, of Itta Bena was convicted of Second-Degree Murder in Leflore County Circuit Court following his guilty plea on Monday, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today. On July 11, 2020, deputies of the Leflore […]... read more
Chillious Receives a 40 Year Sentence for Sex Crimes Against a Child
Greenville, MS – This week in Circuit Court, Brian Chillious, 45 yoa, pled guilty to a total of forty years with the Mississippi Department of Correction for a series of child sex crimes that took place in Washington County. Chillious […]... read more
Ellison Lafayette Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
Greenville, MS – With a jury pool drawn from across Washington County and ready to hear his case, Ellison Lafayette, 32 yoa, chose to plead guilty to causing the death of William Taylor, 51 yoa. Circuit Judge Richard Smith accepted […]... read more
BERDELL WILLIS, III SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS
Greenville, MS – Berdell Willis, III, 22 yoa, of Greenville, was sentenced following his May 2022 guilty plea to the charge of Second Degree Murder in the November 2017 murder of Darrell Lafayette, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today. Two […]... read more
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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.
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.
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
P.O. Box 1046
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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