‘Major burglar’ back to prison for 12 years|[08/23/07]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Vicksburg man described by Vicksburg police as &#8220a major burglar in this area for a long period of time,” has been sentenced in Warren County Circuit Court to another 12 years in the state penitentiary.

Darrah Williams, 40, 742 Dabney Ave., was handed the term Tuesday by Judge Isadore Patrick after pleading guilty to two charges of business burglary.

It was Williams’ third time to stand before a judge and be sent to Parchman for theft-related offenses. He was previously given a 20-year sentence in August 1989 and a nine-year sentence in June 7, 1996.

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Williams has now faced a total of 16 charges in the Warren County Circuit Court. All but two, a 1989 aggravated assault and weapon possessions charge from last year, were burglaries.

&#8220He has been a prolific burglar in this area,” Vicksburg Police Chief Moffett said.

One of the crimes for which Williams was sentenced Tuesday consisted of four counts of business burglary, all of which occurred on Jan. 31, 2006. Those businesses included the Sadler Dental Clinic, 1016 Mission 66, Toney’s Restaurant, 1903 Mission 66, C.D.S. Home Care, 1911 Mission 66, and The Ivy Place, 2451 N. Frontage Road.

Williams’ other charge was for the Jan. 13, 2006, burglary of River Outfitters, 3409 Halls Ferry Road.

&#8220The man got what he deserved,” said Charles Toney, owner of Toney’s Restaurant. &#8220As far as I’m concerned, a guy like that probably should have gotten life.”

Police said Williams admitted all five burglaries following his arrest on Feb. 1, 2006, when he was picked up for carrying a concealed weapon as a convicted felon, Lt. Billy Brown said.

&#8220We knew Williams was out of jail at the time of the burglaries and that they had been done in similar fashion to that of Williams’ past burglaries,” Brown said. &#8220After we did some more research and questioned Williams, he confessed to all five only about a day after his arrest.”

The five crimes that Williams confessed to were part of a rash of burglaries, attempted burglaries and thefts that targeted 37 local businesses in January 2006. More than half of them took place in a sqaure-mile area near Interstate 20 encompassing Mission 66, Indiana Avenue, North and South Frontage roads, Halls Ferry Road and Pemberton Square Boulevard.

The crimes cost the businesses thousands in missing goods and vandalism. Sports Center, 3505 Pemberton Square Blvd., was robbed of $30,000 in sporting goods when it was burglarized on Jan. 15 that year.

Moffett and Brown said they’re convinced Williams had a role in most if not all of those thefts.

Mississippi does have a &#8220three strikes” law under which a third felony conviction can lead to a life sentence under some circumstances. It is not mandatory for all third felonies, however. Mississippi also now has a &#8220truth in sentencing” law that says 80 percent of terms must be served before inmates can be released. That law, however, also has exceptions.