Joseph Willie Horton will now spend the rest of his life in prison for killing one person and injuring another.
It all happened on an April day in 2012. Earlier in the day, Horton got into a fistfight and lost. He later went to an apartment building in the 1400 block of Hickory Lane where his opponent was standing outside with a group of people, including children.
He wanted to get even.
He leveled a .380 caliber handgun and fired at least six times. But, he didn’t hit his intended target. Instead, he killed a woman and injured another person in the leg.
Horton was identified by more than six eyewitnesses who all knew him from the Peabody, Darst, Webbe housing projects.
“The defendant displayed a callous disregard for all human life,” wrote Assistant Circuit Attorney Don Tyson in court documents. “His actions not only killed an innocent bystander, and wounded another, but put numerous children and adults at risk of death as well.”
ACA Tyson went on to describe the deep emotional and psychological toll the crime took on the victims.
“The woman’s death was mourned not only by her family, but by the people who knew her in the projects,” ACA Tyson wrote. “Everyone said she was a sweet lady who spent her days quietly, doing her best to encourage young people to get out of the projects and make good lives for themselves.”
A jury convicted Horton on all counts on March 31, 2014.
On May 1st, 2014 Horton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.