February 4, 2010
Assault, burglary suspects caught
Tuesday of last week was a tragic day in Marshall County where authorities learned a 91-year-old woman was beaten and robbed in her home near Mt. Pleasant in the mid-morning hours, according to Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.
Two suspects have been developed during the investigation and one suspect is in Marshall County jail under a $1 million bond.
The victim suffered a broken jaw and other facial bones, and bruises about the face and head, as well as trauma to the back of the head, he said.
Authorities were called to the scene around 9:30 a.m. January 26 after the victim placed a call to 911.
Dickerson said his deputies and investigators arrived at the Lake Hill Cove location about two miles west of Mt. Pleasant and the victim provided information before being taken first to Methodist Germantown then later to the Memphis Med.
“She was at home alone with her two small dogs and went to the back door where she observed two people standing,” Dickerson said. “She opened the outer door slightly and the suspects jerked the door open and struck her two or more times in the face, knocking her to the floor.”
The victim was semi-conscious after the first blows.
“It appears the suspects made a search of all the rooms in the home with the dogs still barking at them,” the sheriff said. “The victim attempted a call to 911 for help when she was struck again in the back of the head before the suspects left.”
By the time authorities arrived some minutes later, the suspects had fled in a vehicle believed to have been a 2001 Ford Taurus that one of the suspects had borrowed from a friend at her work site in Collierville around 7 a.m. the same morning.
Authorities believe the suspects burglarized the victim’s son’s house down the hill before coming to her home in the Lake Hill Cove area.
An intensive search for investigative facts and clues was immediately initiated by Sheriff Dickerson and his department, leading to the development of two suspects who are believed to be responsible for the crimes.
Marshall County authorities arrested Dillon Dewayne Williams, 17, of 420 Warr Road, Rossville, Tenn., at H.W. Byers School Wednesday about 3 p.m., where Williams was enrolled, the sheriff said. Williams was taken into custody and detained on charges of aggravated assault and two counts of burglary, he said. Bond for Williams was set Thursday morning in Marshall County justice court at $1 million.
Shelby County and Memphis, Tenn., authorities worked with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department in searching for the second suspect, who was picked up Friday and taken into custody at 201 Poplar Avenue, Memphis.
Maquel Donyel Morris, 21, the brother of Williams, is believed to have resided at different locations in the Collierville and Cayce Road areas. He was apprehended on an arrest warrant served by Shelby County and the City of Memphis that was issued by Collierville Police Department on an unrelated incident, Dickerson said.
Morris is charged with two counts burglary and one count aggravated assault in connection with the house invasion and burglaries of the two Mt. Pleasant residences.
If Morris does not waive his rights to extradition to face charges on the more serious charges in Marshall County, Dickerson’s office plans to proceed with extradition papers this week. Collierville Police Department has agreed to retire their arrest warrant for Morris or at least set it aside temporarily since the charges against Morris are of a more serious nature in Marshall County, he said.
Authorities recovered the white Ford Taurus that had been loaned to Morris, who is believed to have driven to H.W. Byers School the day of the incident and to have picked up Williams immediately after he got off the school bus.
Williams is believed to have skipped school, having never been recorded as having gone to class.
“We have reason to believe that a short time later, they drove to the victim’s son’s house and then to the victim’s house and committed these crimes and then fled to locations in Memphis, Tenn., in an effort to avoid authorities,” Dickerson said.
The sheriff described the attack of the victim as “atrocious and with great indifference to human life.”
The maximum penalty upon conviction of aggravated assault is 25 years in prison and sentencing for burglary can be up to 25 years, Dickerson said.
But in cases where a person is convicted of committing aggravated assault and burglary of a person 65 years of age or older, or of a person who is disabled, sentences can be doubled for both crimes, Dickerson said.
In other words, if the appropriate measures are taken and the suspects are convicted of both crimes they could be sentenced to up to 100 years in prison, he said.
“We appreciate the help of members of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Investigative Bureau, the concerned public and the media in expediting the identification and apprehension of these two suspects,” Dickerson said.
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