Joseph Whitehead pled Guilty to 2014 Murder
Greenville, MS – In Washington County Circuit Court, Joseph Whitehead, 41 yoa, pled guilty to the shooting death of Anthony Paul Williams, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.
Whitehead had been indicted by a Washington County grand jury for the charges of First Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon that stemmed from the April 26, 2014 shooting. Whitehead’s trial was scheduled to begin this afternoon but he opted to plead guilty to his actions this morning before his trial began.
This case stemmed from the shooting that occurred outside of Bernice’s Store on Harvey Street here in Greenville, MS. When members of the Greenville Police Department responded to the scene they found Mr. Williams suffering from one gunshot wound to the chest as well as several face and skull injuries. Shortly after being transported to DRMC, Anthony Paul Williams was pronounced dead. Because of the excellent work of the Greenville Police Department, Whitehead was arrested and charged with Mr. William’s death. Several witnesses identified Joseph Whitehead as the man who shot Anthony Paul Williams after a brief verbal altercation.
Joseph Whitehead pled guilty to Second Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Judge White-Richard sentenced Whitehead to the state’s recommendation of 35 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Whitehead will serve 25 of those years in prison without any opportunity for early release or parole.
Richardson added that, “the District Attorney’s office feels that justice has been served by Joseph Whitehead being brought to justice to answer for his heinous actions. I would like to thank the Greenville Police Department for their tireless efforts in solving this case. Joseph Whitehead will be the property of the Mississippi Department of Corrections before the end of the week.”
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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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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