Habitual offender admits to throwing hot liquid on fellow inmate - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Habitual offender admits to throwing hot liquid on fellow inmate

Norman Joseph Tate (Photo source: District Attorney's Office) Norman Joseph Tate (Photo source: District Attorney's Office)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A Gulfport man will spend the next 20 years behind bars without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and a weapons charge.

District Attorney Joel Smith said 23-year-old Norman Joseph Tate pleaded guilty to the charges the day before jury selection for his trial was set to begin.

Judge Roger Clark sentenced Tate as a habitual offender after previous convictions of burglary and simple assault on a police officer in 2012.

Tate was arrested again in Jan. 2015 and charged with possessing a weapon after a felony conviction.

While he was in jail for the weapons charge, Tate and two co-defendants were caught on surveillance video using a microwave to heat up a liquid, which was then thrown on another inmate, Smith said. The victim was transferred to the University of South Alabama Burn Unit in Mobile, AL because of the severity of his injuries.

During the sentencing, Tate’s family addressed the court, saying he was not raised to commit crimes and needed to be punished for his actions. Family members also said they still cared for and loved Tate.

Clark sentenced Tate to 10 years for the weapons charge and 20 years for the aggravated assault charge. Clark ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, meaning Tate will serve 20 years in prison. Because he was prosecuted as a habitual offender, Tate will have to serve his sentence day for day.

“The sentence handed down by Judge Clark reflects not only the serious nature of this defendant’s current actions, but also demonstrates that our habitual offender laws are designed to protect communities from those who have demonstrated a repetitive pattern of conduct by their unwillingness to obey the law,” Smith said.

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