October 28, 2011
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that William Albritton and Joseph Wheeler plead to aggravated assault and robbery. Through a plea agreement, Albritton received a 25-year sentence and Wheeler received a 30-year sentence.
On February 15, 2011, an off duty Pearl Police officer observed a beaten and bloody man coming from the Pearl City Park. The man stated that had been beaten by two individuals who were later indentified as Albritton and Wheeler and that money had been stolen from his person. Officers searched the park and located a large pool of blood on the tennis court where the assault occurred.’
Later that evening Pearl stopped a vehicle in which Albritton was traveling. The vehicle had been previously observed in the area of the Park at the time of the assault. Albritton was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor charge and taken to the Rankin County Jail. Albritton later confessed to law enforcement officers and implicates Wheeler in the assault and robbery.
Guest stated, “Wheeler carried a baseball bat that he used to strike the victim multiple times while Albritton kicked and stomped the victim. They, then, took his wallet and stole the $300.00 it contained and went to Jackson to purchase marijuana and cocaine.”
Guest said, “The attackers beat the victim so badly that he had to be hospitalized for a week with multiple skull fractures. Had the victim not been able to crawl to the side of the road, where he was located by an off-duty Pearl police officer, he may have died as the result of his injuries.”
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant and found blood on Albrittion’s shoes. They recovered the blood-stained jackets of Wheeler and Albritton, and the baseball bat used in the assault.