In court on Thursday, an Investigator for the Attorney General’s office said authorities looked at Wade early on in the case based on some previous knowledge of him from the Isola Police Department.
Another Isola resident, Rodney King Taylor, said he knows the victim.
“That old lady, she don’t bother nobody, she’s friendly,” said Taylor. “She’ll talk to anybody. Anybody walks by, she says, ‘Hey, how you doing? Have a good day, God bless you.’”
The caregiver that found the victim found a bloody knife under a couch in the victim’s home. DNA tests from the Mississippi State Crime Lab would uncover blood on it from both the victim and from Wade. A shirt taken from Wade had the victim’s blood DNA on it, investigators said.
Wade was arrested as soon as the DNA tests came in from the crime lab, police said.
As an attorney from the Attorney General’s office questioned the investigator in court about photos from the crime scene, as well as of the victim and the blood on the suspect’s shirt, Wade’s expression didn’t change. He had family members in the courtroom who also remained stoic except for his mother, whose foot bounced throughout the hearing.
His attorney, Tanisha Gates, questioned the prosecution at great length and in great detail about the evidence gathering.
“I do think that my client was given a disservice, and I think that disservice was the result of poor law enforcement work and investigation,” Gates said.
Justice Court Judge Shirley Cummings found that there was sufficient evidence to send Wade to a grand jury on charges of rape, breaking and entering, and attempted murder, saying that perpetrating a crime on such a fragile victim showed blatant disregard for life.
Gates said she’s not pleased with the $2 million bond. Meanwhile, she acknowledges the tough case ahead of her.
“We think it’s excessive,” she said. “We have a long road ahead, but we’re going to travel that with grace and dignity.”
It’s not clear if there could be further charges as the case unfolds, or if this was Wade’s first such crime. He’s charged as an adult, and his juvenile record is sealed.
We attempted to interview Sheriff Charles Sharkey and two of his investigators, as well as Isola Police Chief Demetrius Allen and Isola Mayor Dimp Powell, family members of Wade’s, neighbors and friends of both Wade’s and the victim’s, and the caregiver who found the victim and called police.
Some of them canceled interviews and others declined, all citing fear of attorneys or vigilante retribution. The Attorney General’s office now has the case, and they do not comment on active investigations.
This is a developing story. As more information becomes publicly available, we will keep you updated.