On Friday, April 30, 2021, a jury convicted William Henry, AKA William Henry Applewhite III, of three counts of Assault on a Corrections Officer in the First Degree and three counts of Armed Criminal Action in the First Degree. The defendant was housed in the Scott County Jail awaiting trial on murder charges when the assaults occurred.
The evidence at trial established that on May 9, 2015, the defendant refused to lockdown in his cell after being ordered to do so by Corrections Officer A.J. The defendant’s aggressiveness towards Corrections Officer A.J. led to the officer drawing her taser and instructing the defendant to lockdown. The defendant lunged at Corrections Officer, A.J., and a struggle for the taser ensued. During the struggle for the taser, the defendant dragged Corrections Officer A.J. into a cell where the defendant got her into a chokehold in an attempt to disarm her of her taser.
Corrections Officers G.B. and C.N. were also present during the altercation. Corrections Officer C.N. drew his taser in an attempt to get the defendant to release Corrections Officer A.J.; however, the defendant was able to disarm Corrections Officer C.N. of his taser. The defendant tased all three corrections officers multiple times in the head and neck area before being subdued by O.C. spray, which is more commonly referred to as mace. Corrections Officer A.J. sustained multiple injuries from the attack.
The defendant was charged with three Counts of Assault on a Correction Officer in the First Degree and three counts of Armed Criminal Action in the First Degree. The case was tried in Pemiscot County after a change of venue from Scott County. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney Generals Jennifer Coffin and Corie Geary-Atkins. Investigator Robert Dudley assisted in the prosecution. Sentencing is scheduled for June 15, 2021.