09/01/05 — Wilson witness, officers scuffled

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Wilson witness, officers scuffled

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 1, 2005 2:04 PM

A key witness in the Leandren Andre Wilson murder trial on Tuesday scuffled with law-enforcement officers outside of the courtroom in the Wayne County Courthouse.

Three officers, Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputies Keith Hartzog and Betty Lantz and bailiff Tom Watts, suffered minor scrapes and bruises but returned to work today.

Hartzog smelled marijuana on the witness, Tory Myelle Thompson, 30, of Log Oak Place, and asked him to step outside of the third-floor courtroom, said the officers' supervisor, Sheriff's Capt. W.A. "Buddy" King.

Thompson took offense at the deputy's remarks and scuffled with him. Ms. Lantz and Watts heard the commotion and helped stop the scuffle.

Thompson was not injured. "They took it easy on him," King said.

Thompson was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault on a law-enforcement officer, injury to personal property and resisting arrest and one count of misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He also was held on an outstanding arrest order. He was placed in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 secured bond.

Thompson was the lone eyewitness who identified Wilson, 28, of Goldsboro, as the shooter of Corey Lavon Grantham, 26, of Goldsboro on July 11, 2004, outside of a now-closed Goldsboro night club.

Wilson, who had rejected two plea bargains, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter late Tuesday afternoon and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Jay D. Hockenbury to about six to eight years, 71 to 95 months, in prison. The prosecution, in exchange for the guilty plea, dismissed the first-degree murder charge and habitual felon status.