May 3, 2011
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Greg Wilder was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Daniel Thomas, following a three-day trial.
In the early morning hours of July 5, 2008, the Canton Police Department was contacted regarding a fight between two people that had escalated into a heated altercation between two large groups of people.
Shots were fired as law enforcement arrived and they found two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. One of the victims was later released from The University Mississippi Medical Center. However, Thomas was transported to the Madison County Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
According to several witness statements, Thomas was simply attempting to break-up the fight when he was shot by Wilder.
Guest stated, “What started as a small fight quickly intensified and an innocent person lost his life in the parking lot of a gas station. There was absolutely no reason for this to have occurred.”
Wilder fled the scene. Wilder’s grandfather advised law enforcement that Wilder contacted his mother shortly after the crime and confessed to the shooting and she asked him to come to Atlanta to be with her. The trip never took place and Wilder later contacted law enforcement and eventually turned himself into authorities.
At the time Wilder surrendered his custody he also turned over to the police a 9mm handgun, which was later determined by the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory to be the weapon used to kill Thomas.
Guest added, “This is a sad example of what can occur in just seconds – someone losing their life because they are unable to control their tempers.”
At trial, Wilder attempted to claim that the shooting of Thomas was done in self- defense but the jury soundly rejected that claim and found him guilty of murder.
Guest concluded, “The victim’s family should be commended for their strength through the death of a family member, and their patience as the case worked its way through the criminal justice system. Their strength and patience was rewarded by the verdict of the jury and the fact that a murderer was placed behind bars for life.”