Judge revokes post-release supervision after man assaults girlfriend

By: 
Ryan Phillips
Staff Writer

An Oktibbeha County man with a history of violent offenses saw his post-release supervision revoked on Thursday following accusations that he assaulted his girlfriend and threatened her with a knife.

Three witnesses were called by Assistant District Attorney Scott Rogillio on Thursday to testify in the case of 34-year-old William Carter, who was arrested on May 9 and charged with aggravated domestic assault after deputies responded to a domestic violence call at his mother’s home in the 200 block of Lawson Road.

Once at the home, deputies were told by the victim, Carter’s girlfriend Alliyah Wells, that Carter hit, choked and threatened her with a knife after an argument between the couple escalated.

The arrest came as a violation of Carter’s post-release supervision, after he was convicted of sexual battery in 2004 and then violated the terms of his probation in 2007 when he was arrested and later indicted for shooting a gun into an occupied vehicle and being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon.

Carter served eight years in prison the sexual battery charge/shooting into an occupied vehicle charges and was released in November 2016, according to court documents.

After hearing the witness testimony, Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens said there was probable cause to revoke the one year of postrelease supervision being served by Carter.

DEPUTIES TESTIFY

Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Reece was the first witness called to the stand by the state.

Reece said when he arrived on scene, several relatives and neighbors were outside of the trailer and said there was a woman and man locked in a bedroom inside the . Some at the scene told deputies there was a gun involved in the altercation.

Along with Deputy Tyrone Edmonds, the deputies made contact with Carter in the home and brought him outside to talk.

“There was no altercation when we arrived, at all, but (Wells) did have marks on her neck and was crying,” Reece said. “She was hysterical, telling me he tried to kill her and he had a knife, he was going to take her eyeball out of her eye socket or something like that.”

Reece later related that Wells told deputies the marks on her neck were from the pocket knife used by Carter and that he was upset because he “was looking for the (gun) and couldn’t find it.”

“(Wells) hid it previously, so that was one of the reasons he was so upset,” Reece said.

Despite Edmonds’ efforts to keep Carter outside of the trailer, Reece said the suspect entered the home and stated he was going to “Do what the f - - -” he wanted to in his own house.

Reece then said Carter went back into the bedroom and started telling Wells that “nothing happened, everything was fine.”

After entering the house, Carter was placed under arrest for aggravated domestic assault.

When asked what spurred the confrontation, Reece said Wells told him that when Carter came home, he was upset because he thought she was cheating on him and she believed he was under the influence of some kind of narcotics.

When Edmonds took the stand, many of the same details were corroborated, along with what happened after Carter was taken into custody.

“He was acting real aggravated, mad he didn’t want to stay outside and talk with me,” Edmonds said of his initial contact with Carter. “He was ready to go back inside.”

Edmonds then said Carter told him Wells slept with one of his friends, and since he knew the person involved, he became even angrier.

“Me and (Carter) stood outside talking, he was upset and wanted to get back in the house,” Edmonds said. “For some apparent reason, I guessI was invisible, he walked around me and walked back in the house and that’s when we arrested him and put him in handcuffs.”

Once handcuffed, Edmonds said Carter began to act erratically and scream at those standing outside of the home watching the scenario play out. He said he checked Carter’s waistline, but due to his behavior, he could not fully search him before putting him in the back of his patrol car.

Carter was transported to the Oktibbeha County Jail and once he was taken out of the patrol car, Edmonds said he noticed a magazine clip to a semi-automatic handgun sitting on the seat. He was informed by Carter that the clip belonged to Wells.

Additionally, Carter found a pocket knife under the passenger seat in the back of his patrol car.

When asked if he had arrested anyone else earlier that day that could have been the rightful owner of either piece of evidence, Edmonds said he had not.

“Every time I take somebody out of my vehicle, I make it my duty to search the vehicle to make sure nothing is left in there,” Edmonds told Carter’s public defender Ben Lang during cross examination. “The way he was acting, I didn’t have the opportunity to pat him down.”

VICTIM TESTIFIES

Wells was the final witness called to the stand, but declined to corroborate many of the details provided by the two deputies who responded to the call.

While she confirmed that Carter did hit and choke her, when asked by Rogillio if Carter threatened her, she said “I don’t recall.”

The most Wells would divulge to Rogillio when asked what was said and what threats were made, was that Carter said he “would get her.”

She somewhat elaborated when asked to explain, saying she thought he meant he would “choke her to death.”

Rogillio was then told by Wells that Carter “always” had a pocket knife on him, which he used for various outside work and “simple cutting.”

A visibly frustrated Rogillio said it seemed Wells was being reluctant to answer questions, to which she responded, “I just want everything to be over with.”

Wells told the court it was the first time Carter had acted violently and that she had never seen him act that way.

When asked if Carter was intoxicated, Wells deferred to her boyfriend’s mental state. 

“He needs some mental help,” she said. “It’s not just intoxication. He’s been through a lot since he’s been locked up. He needs mental help, personally.”

It was then mentioned that following the arrest, Wells requested that all of the charges be dropped, to which an additional kidnapping charge stemming from the incident was lifted in the lower court.

Rogillio asked Wells if she was held against her will, to which she responded that she was welcome to leave the room at any time, but had no reason to leave the home because she “didn’t have anywhere else to go.”

She did, however, concede that she was scared of Carter at the time of the argument, but reiterated that things between the couple were “great” before the argument.

One of the final questions asked of Wells by Rogillio was not fully addressed, but gave insight into the direction taken by the prosecution in handling domestic violence cases.

The veteran prosecutor asked “had the police not arrived, what could have happened?”

“Somebody could have gotten hurt,” Wells responded. She was then asked who could have gotten hurt and said “I’m not quite sure.”

“Eventually I was going to put up a fight,” Wells said. “But I just didn’t want to being that I was in someone
else’s home.”

In closing, Rogillio insisted that there was nothing common about an argument that results in violence.

“That’s not usual,” he said to Wells. “You can have an argument with somebody and neither party fear for their lives.”

OTHER CIRCUIT COURT CASES

WILLIAM SMITH

A man who was acting under the influence of synthetic marijuana, or “spice,” will have to serve two years in prison after pleading guilty to felony fleeing of a law enforcement officer.

Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens sentenced 31-year-old William Smith to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with two years to serve and three years suspended under post release supervision in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Smith was arrested in December 2015 after failing to yield during a routine traffic stop and then leading police on a high-speed chase.

Smith said in court that he was “high and paranoid” after smoking spice, which led him to not pull over when signaled by the officer. 

According to Kitchens, Smith also has previous convictions for possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He has been in the Oktibbeha County Jail since his arrest.

In addition to the time he will have to serve, Kitchens also ordered Smith to undergo drug and alcohol treatment and pay a fine of $500 along with court costs.

JENNIFER BAGGETT

A former teacher in the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District facing six counts of credit card fraud pleaded not guilty late last month and will have her case continued until October in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.

According to court records, 45-year-old Jennifer Lee Baggett’s case is scheduled for trial in the next Circuit Court term, with a tentative date set for Oct. 15. Baggett, who taught at Starkville High School and at Armstrong Middle School starting in 2014, was indicted on six counts of obtaining goods by fraud by an Oktibbeha County Grand Jury on July 23 and waived her arraignment in Circuit Court.

She was terminated from the district as of Oct.11. She is accused of opening multiple credit cards under the names of her children, including two Capital One Visa cards, a Capital One MasterCard, a Discover Card, a Capital One Visa Journey Card, and a First Premier Bank Card.

The incidents occurred in October 2014, March 2015, April 2015, twice in May 2015 and once more in August 2016.

Justice Court Judge Larnzy Carpenter Jr. appointed public defender Ben Lang to represent Baggett.

The Starkville Daily News previously reported Baggett was arrested on Oct. 3, 2017.

According to court records, an appearance bond for Baggett was set at $60,000. Conviction of a first offense for obtaining goods by fraud carries a fine of not more than $5,000, five years in prison or both, while the penalty doubles for subsequent offenses. In addition to fines and imprisonment, a person convicted under the code is required to pay restitution.

At the time of the accusations, she was married to SOCSD Assistant Superintendent David Baggett, who remains in his position.

Category: