WOODARD CONVICTED OF SEXUAL BATTERY & FONDLING
District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced this week that Larry Woodard was convicted on a multi-count indictment charging him with three (3) counts of Sexual Battery and one (1) count of Fondling. With trial set to begin on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, before Judge Carol White-Richard in the Circuit Court of Washington County, Woodard chose instead to plead guilty to the charges brought against him.
Facing multiple counts of Sexual Battery, as well as Fondling, Woodard was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to serve a term of twenty (20) years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with fifteen (15) of those years to be served in prison. Due to the sexual nature of Woodard’s crimes, he will not be eligible for early release or parole and must serve the entire sentence behind bars.
The crimes for which Woodard was convicted stem from incidents involving a child under fourteen (14) years of age, occurring between 2018 and 2021, while Woodard was a resident of Greenville. At the time of his arrest, Woodard was located living in Indiana before being transported back to Greenville to face his charges. As part of his sentence, Woodard is required to register as a convicted sex offender and must follow all of the requirements that entail sex offender registration.
The case against Woodard was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney M. Austin Frye, who expressed his gratitude towards the Greenville Police Department, as well as the minor victim’s guardian, in their thorough investigation and relentless pursuit of justice for the minor child. Frye stated that “[t]oo often, sexual assault cases involving minor children are not brought to the attention of local law enforcement until years after the assaults occur, if ever . . . by that time, recollections often fade, DNA evidence may not be possible, and the potential for a favorable outcome for the victim is greatly diminished. The Greenville Police Department, along with this child’s guardian, ensured that no second was wasted in gathering the necessary evidence to convict Larry Woodard.” Frye also urged those who are, or may become, victims of sexual crimes to not delay coming forward and reporting the assaults against them, stating that “[t]he sooner a sexual assault case is put in the hands of law enforcement, the odds of a successful prosecution of sexual predators, like Larry Woodard, are greatly increased.”
Richardson added that the Office of the District Attorney appreciates the diligence and hard work of Investigators Danny Poe and Steven Torrey who led the investigation into the actions of Larry Woodard as well as Chief Turner and his entire staff for making sure that another sexual predator is removed from the streets of Greenville and Washington County.
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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