February 3, 2009
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that James Weatherspoon of Canton received a 35-year sentence for rape through a plea arrangement. Ten years will be suspended and Weatherspoon will be on probation for five years. Weatherspoon will be required to spend 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole and will have to register as a sex offender upon his release from the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
On November 30, 2007, the Canton Police Department responded to a call regarding a young girl being raped. Upon arriving at the Madison County Medical Center, officers interviewed the victim and a rape kit was performed. A DNA analysis later confirmed that Weatherspoon raped the 13-year-old girl.
Weatherspoon took the 13 year old victim from her house by telling her mother that she was accompanying him to the grocery store. Weatherspoon told the victim that he needed to stop at a house to get money for the groceries. The defendant and the victim entered an abandoned house where Weatherspoon pulled a knife and sexually assaulted the child. Weatherspoon then left the scene and the victim walked home where she immediately told her mother what had occurred and the police were contacted.
The Canton Police Department began an investigation that led to a warrant being issued for James Weatherspoon. At his arrest, Weatherspoon was carrying the knife described to police by the victim. DNA samples were taken from the defendant and compared to DNA previously collected. These test confirmed Weatherspoon’s involvement in the sexual assault.
Guest stated, “This little girl was a victim of a sexual predator who had previously been convicted of a similar crime in Holmes County. By removing James Weatherspoon from our streets, our hope is that this victim received the justice she deserved. I also believe we have saved others who could have become victims at Weatherspoon’s hands.”
Guest concluded, “A child should be safe from individuals bent on harming them. Weatherspoon has destroyed a child’s innocence and caused emotional trauma that may last a lifetime. In Madison County, we must continue to take this type of crime very seriously and do all we can to see that our children are protected.”
Weatherspoon was convicted in 1997 in Holmes County for rape and assault with intent to ravish.