2 habitual criminals receive max sentences in 12th District Circuit Court
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Two Hattiesburg men were given maximum sentences this week in 12th District Circuit Court as non-violent habitual offenders.
Willie Earl Lampley was sentenced by Judge Jon Mark Weathers to 10 years on a false pretense charge.
Willie Ray Bolton was sentenced to seven years a charge of non-residential burglary.
Both cases triggered Mississippi’s non-violent habitual offender law. which means each had at least two, non-violent felony convictions.
Under the habitual guidelines, convicted offenders receive the maximum possible sentence on their charge without the possibility of parole or early release,
Jury selection was underway Monday for Lampley’s trial when he decided to enter a plea of guilty.
He had been charged by the Hattiesburg Police Department with false pretense for having made a “series of fraudulent purchases from O’Reilly Auto Parts on Broadway Drive in Hattiesburg between Jan. 14 and Jan, 20, 2020.”
Lampley also had other false pretense and shoplifting charges pending with the City of Hattiesburg and City of Petal.
Bolton decided on a trial rather than copping a plea,
Bolton was charged with burglarizing a James Street storage warehouse of the City of Hattiesburg’s Public Works Department on the afternoon of Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Bolton had worn gloves and a mask in an effort to conceal his identity from the city’s surveillance camera system.
HPD investigated the burglary and identified Bolton as the suspect.
The jury retired to deliberate on Tuesday afternoon and returned a unanimous guilty verdict after about 35 minutes.
Bolton had pending charges for two other commercial burglaries in the Palmer’s Crossing community.
He also previously had been convicted of five felony crimes, including three, non-residential burglaries, receiving stolen goods and grand larceny.
Bolton previously had not been sentenced under Mississippi’s non-violent habitual offender law until Tuesday, when Weathers gave him a seven-year, day-for-day punishment, the maximum allowed for non-residential burglary.
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