June 2, 2008
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that John Willie Bell, Jr., received a 25-year sentence for burglarizing a Ridgeland apartment in March 2005.
Bell was convicted as a habitual offender and will be required to spend his entire 25-year sentence in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Bell had previous felony convictions from Hinds County for shoplifting, receiving stolen property and sale of a controlled substance.
The victim told the Ridgeland Police Department that she was in her bathroom when she heard someone in her residence walking toward the bedroom. When the victim went into the bedroom, she found the intruder with her purse. The victim then turned on the intruder and the defendant fled from the apartment.
The Ridgeland Police Department conducted a comprehensive investigation by interviewing witnesses and lifting finger prints from the window by which Bell entered the apartment. The investigation yielded Bell as a suspect and he was subsequently picked out of a series of photos by the victim. It was later determined that Bell had stolen money and checks from the victim’s purse.
Guest stated, “The victim in this case was very brave and provided investigators with crucial information that led to the arrest and conviction of the defendant”
Guest concluded, “Protecting our homes and families from a habitual offenders like Bell is a priority of law enforcement. Because of the outstanding work of the Ridgeland Police Department, Bell will spend the next 25 years in prison, where he will no longer be able to continue his life of crime.”