Willis Wright admitted to being wrong again, and now he will have to spend a couple of years in prison.
Wright, 37, pleaded guilty in Jones County Circuit Court to having pain pills and a gun — both illegally — and was ordered to serve two years in the full-time custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He was sentenced as a habitual offender, which means he is supposed to serve all of his time, with no chance for early release.
Wright was arrested in August 2017 with seven dosage units of Hydrocodone and acetaminophen while he was carrying a .32-caliber handgun, according to the indictment. He was not allowed to have a firearm because he was convicted in February 2006 of aggravated assault, sale of cocaine andpossession of cocaine. In the aggravated assault, he admitted to shooting at someone. He was ordered to serve eight years behind bars for those crimes. But after getting three felony convictions, he is considered a habitual offender, and Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin prosecuted him as one.
In addition to the two years in prison, he was ordered to serve three years post-release supervision under the MDOC, participate in the court’s community service program and pay court fees and fines of $1,917.50. He was represented by public defender Michael Mitchell.
Just before his latest conviction, Wright posted on his Facebook page a photo of a stack of $100 bills wrapped in a Rolex watch under the words: “Hustle or be broke.”
Three defendants were approved to participate in the Jones County Drug Court program:
• Lindsey Miller, 36, of Laurel pleaded guilty to embezzlement from Mac’s Mini Mart, where she stole almost $2,000 between October 2012 and August 2013, according to court documents. She was ordered to pay court fees and fines of $3,380.79, which includes restitution of $1,963.29 to her victim, and participate in the court’s community service program.
• Timika Norman, 29, of Laurel pleaded guilty to felony DUI after getting her third conviction in August 2017. Her first two DUI convictions were six days apart — March 3 and March 9 — in 2014 in Laurel. She was ordered to pay court fees and fines of $3,417.50 and participate in the court’s community service program.
• Brandy Lee Miranda, 37, pleaded guilty to felony DUI after getting her third conviction in December 2017. Her first two convictions were in Laurel, in October 2016 and September 2017, according to court documents. She was ordered to pay court fees and fines of $3,417.50 and participate in the court’s community service program.
Public defender John Piazza represented all three defendants who were approved for drug court. The program takes three to five years and participants are required to follow strict guidelines and undergo random drug-testing and unscheduled home visits.
Failure to meet the requirements can result in them having to serve their time in prison, but if they complete the program successfully, the felonies will be expunged from their record.