Brutal beating caught on cell phone video - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Four Copiah County men sentenced for simple assault

Posted: Updated:
Cell Phone video of fight Cell Phone video of fight
HAZLEHURST, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

During an open plea inside a Hazlehurst courtroom, four Copiah County men admitted to assaulting 24 year old Jamal Virgil in a Waffle House parking lot.

The Hazlehurst Waffle House is where exclusive cell phone video was taken and sent to WLBT just hours after 24 year old Jamal Virgil was beaten in the early morning hours of July 4th.

Since that beating, 35 Calvin Lawrence, 35 year old Antonio Porter, 30 year old Walter Harris and 20 year old Jesmond Rockingham have pled guilty to simple assault charges according to Hazlehurst Police Chief Byron Swilley. The four men were sentenced the maximum penalty of six months behind bars, will pay a $500 fine and will be on probation for two years after their release.

"I mean we as a family are really just displeased," said Jason Holmes, Virgil's older brother. "If anybody did see the video then automatic you would understand that this charge is more than simple assault. That the penalty that they did receive should have been more than what they did receive."

Hazlehurst Police Chief Byron Swilley said because a weapon was not used during the assault charges can not be upgraded.

"My brother was not rewarded for the pain and suffering that he did go through," add Holmes. "I just wish that the law would have seen it better than they did. So, we are not pleased with the choice they made, what they decided to give these guys."

Virgil is recovering from trauma to the head, a fractured jaw, broken nose and busted eye sockets.

Virgil, was allegedly walking through the Waffle House parking lot to go inside the restaurant. That's when Holmes, says his brother was attacked by four men.

"You have a video, that's concrete evidence that shows that these men didn't have no kind of mercy what so ever as far as my brother goes, no mercy," said Holmes.

"My brother didn't have no trouble with these guys," Holmes added. "And these guys that was in this situation know that my brother is innocent. He had nothing to do with it. He never had an altercation with them, never ever talked to them a day in his life."

Chief Swilley says it's unclear if the men knew each other before the altercation or what sparked the fight, adding that the investigation is on-going.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • LOCALLOCALMore>>

  • Shelby bikers head to Coast on safety ride

    Shelby bikers head to Coast on safety ride

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:05:08 GMT
    Soldiers from a training unit at Camp Shelby Friday celebrated the conclusion of an advanced motorcycle safety course by taking a ride to the Gulf Coast. The trip from Hattiesburg Cycles to Biloxi andMore >>
    Soldiers from a training unit at Camp Shelby Friday celebrated the conclusion of an advanced motorcycle safety course by taking a ride to the Gulf Coast.

    More >>
  • Historical canoe discovered in Lawrence County

    Historical canoe discovered in Lawrence County

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:53:43 GMT
    A piece of Mississippi history, under water for more than 100 years, surfaced in the Pearl River in Monticello last weekend. Now it's at Turcotte Lab in Madison County. "This is a 14-foot cypress logMore >>
    Last weekend, the Pearl River in Monticello receded just enough to reveal a wooden canoe that dates back more than 100 years. Here's a closer look at this fascinating Mississippi artifact.More >>
  • Statistics show Laurel crime down first half of 2014

    Statistics show Laurel crime down first half of 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:11 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:11:46 GMT
    The Laurel Police Department has released its UCR statistics for the first six months of 2014. According to their Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, from January through June the department has had 689More >>
    The Laurel Police Department has released its UCR statistics for the first six months of 2014. The report shows the city is down 8.4% in crime compared to last year. More >>