Jeremy Wright-assassins

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wright named his assassins: ‘Mafia’

By Emily Darby Williams

Preliminary hearings last Friday brought to light more details surrounding the January gang-related shooting death of Jeremy Wright in Batesville.

Two defendants charged with murder, Marcus Tyrone Wheatley and Jayson D. Dishmon, both of Sardis, had requested preliminary hearings and had asked for reductions in their $1 million bonds.

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Municipal Judge Jay Westfaul listened to testimony then sent both cases to the grand jury. He also reduced their bonds, Dishmon’s to $600,000 and Wheatley’s to $750,00.

Wheatley was represented by attorney Larry Maxey and Dishmon’s counsel is David Walker.

The defendants appeared Friday morning in a specially-arranged hearing in the Batesville Municipal Court building, where testimony was interrupted numerous times by the horn blast of a train passing slowly through town.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Hale questioned Batesville Police Detective Paul Shivers about events on January 16, the day of the shooting, and about the alleged involvement of Wheatley and Dishmon, two of the four men charged in Wright’s death.

The other two, Michael Fondren and Marico Fondren, also of Sardis, did not appear at last week’s hearing.

Shivers testified that the police department has a video tape on which the wounded Wright says he knew who shot him, though all his words are not clear. The tape was made by Lt. Ruby Myers, who was on the scene on Vance Street shortly after Wright was shot around noon on the Martin Luther King holiday.

“He said the Mafia killed him,” Shivers said.

Hale asked if Wright mentioned a certain person.

“We cannot tell,” Shivers said. “We have listened to it over and over.”

Shivers said the tape would be sent for further investigation.

Wright was affiliated with the Gangster Disciples. Dishmon and Wheatley are alleged members of the Mafia, a rival gang reportedly affiliated with the Vice Lords street gang.

Shivers testified that shell casings from a .223 assault rifle found at the scene suggest that was the weapon that fired the shot that struck Wright in the back of the head.

The rifle has not been found.

Shivers said eyewitnesses at the scene placed all four defendants there, having been driven to Vance Street by Bobby Perry, who told Shivers he had heard them say on the way they were “going out to shoot someone.”

The initial provocation involved a gun allegedly stolen from a club, Shivers said.

Both Dishmon and Wheatley took the stand in the bond reduction portion of the hearing.

Dishmon, who is a convicted felon, was reminded by Hale that he cannot possess a gun. He is on probation and would not be allowed out of jail now.

Hale asked Wheatley, “How long have you been carrying a gun?”

“I don’t always carry a gun. Lately there’s been a lot going on with me in the ‘Mafia’ so I carry a gun,” Wheatley answered.

“What’s the purpose of carrying a gun?” Hale asked.

“I guess to not end up like Jeremy,” Wheatley answered, then loudly said, “But I didn’t kill Jeremy.”