If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Lavelle Walley will face potential life sentence when sentenced in June
From Staff and Associated Press Reports
A once well-respected emergency medical provider and Greene County resident continued his fall from grace earlier this week with admissions in court to sexually-charged crimes against two young girls and multiple women under his medical care.
Longtime Leakesville resident and former paramedic James Lavelle Walley pled guilty on Monday in Jackson County to three counts of sexual battery and two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes. Each of the adult women in the sexual battery cases were victimized while being transported to hospitals. The two girls he admitted to fondling were 5-7 years old when the crimes against them occurred.
District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath said Walley committed the crimes between 2016 and 2019 while working as a certified paramedic for ASAP Ambulance. The company, which serves Greene County as part of a relationship with the county board of supervisors, fired Walley after his arrests. The two young girls were victimized in early 2018, according to court documents.
Circuit Judge Robert Krebs deferred sentencing to June 16. Walley faces what amounts to a life sentence as each sexual battery conviction carries up to 30 years in prison each of the two molestation charges carries a sentence of up to 15 years.
The Herald reached out to the district attorney’s office and was told a more detailed statement would follow after sentencing.
“This remains an open case involving very fragile victims and we do not wish for them to be singled out publicly,” Assistant District Attorney Jason Davis wrote in an email response to the Herald Tuesday afternoon. “At sentencing, the judge will be presented with evidence of each of the sexual assaults in all of Walley’s cases.”
Each of the assaults against adults occurred in an ambulance while Walley was in the back, alone with the patient. In each case, the ambulance drivers reportedly did nothing to intervene and have denied any knowledge of the attacks, court records showed.
Walley had no criminal history before his arrest in 2018 and the charges against him at that time shocked the local community.
In each criminal case, victims are described as vulnerable adults because they had a medical condition that required emergency care when Walley attacked them. Several civil lawsuits filed on behalf of victims who said Walley assaulted them during emergency trips to south Mississippi hospitals have been settled or dismissed at this point.
“When we get in an ambulance, we expect to be taken care of, not sexually assaulted,” Leakesville attorney Joe Beard told the Sun-Herald on Monday. Beard is one of two attorneys who represented plaintiffs in the civil cases.
Walley was 54 when first arrested and charged with sexual battery after an incident on Sept. 16, 2018. The 38-year-old woman was being transported to Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. Walley was the paramedic attending to the alleged victim while in transit.
Upon arrival at Singing River Hospital, the woman told police at the facility she had been sexually assaulted by Walley. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and along with police on duty at the hospital processed the ambulance and collected evidence.
He was first charged in Greene County in September 2019, stemming from an incident the previous year. Walley was arrested again in 2020 after a Greene County Grand Jury indicted him on sexual assault charges involving two additional adult victims. Two individual indictments for lustful touching of a child were handed down at that time as well.
For more on this case, check out the Sun-Herald’s reporting HERE