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MS Coast man sentenced to prison for kidnapping, shooting Air Force veteran

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

A Mississippi Coast man was sentenced Monday to serve 50 years in prison for the attempted murder of his estranged wife in a home-invasion style attack on a retired Air Force veteran and registered nurse.

Judge Calvin Taylor sentenced Vinet Williams Moore, 43, on Monday to a total of 75 years in prison, with 50 years to serve and 25 years to serve on post-release supervision.

“Vinet Moore not only terrorized the victim and her daughters, but he also put the lives of the neighbors and the responding officers at risk,” Jackson County District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath said. “Mr. Moore has still shown no remorse for his actions. He is the classic narcissistic, victim-blaming, gas-lighting abuser who abused the victim for years.

“Mr. Moore went to the victim’s home armed with two handguns with the intent to shoot her and he did just that. It is a miracle the victim survived her injuries. The children exhibited amazing bravery in getting their mom help and escaping from the home. The trauma and terror experienced by the victim and her daughters at the hands of Mr. Moore is unimaginable. The Court’s lengthy sentence will protect not only the victim and her family, but the community at large.

Moore had already pleaded guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and burglary..

As part of his plea earlier in October, Moore admitted he shot and seriously injured his estranged wife, Michelle Coleman, after forcing his way inside her home and holding her against her will.

The attack occurred on Sept. 9, 2021, at Coleman’s home on Brookstone Drive in the St. Martin community in Jackson County. Coleman and her two children, then ages 9 and 15, were with her at the home when Moore showed up and forced his way inside.

Sheriff’s deputies went to the home in response to a 911 call around 7 a.m.

By the time deputies arrived the couple’s two children had escaped through a window.

Deputies exchanged gunfire with Moore, though no one was struck.

Moore shot Coleman multiple times.

Deputies arrested Moore after a more than six-hour standoff at the home.

Prior to the shooting, Coleman had repeatedly reported her estranged husband for domestic violence and obtained protection orders to keep Moore away from her.

But that did nothing to stop Moore, her family said.

According to court records obtained by the Sun Herald, Coleman had been in and out of Justice Court to obtain domestic violence protection orders to try to keep Moore from harming her and their children.

In the court filing dating back to 2020, Coleman detailed how Moore allegedly attacked her in previous incidents.

In one case, Coleman said she had a cracked rib and other injuries after Moore tackled her “football-style,” shoved her head into a wall, and body-slammed her into the side of a couch.

In another incident, she said, Moore repeatedly hit her, held her in a bathroom and “pushed her into a toilet with such force that it broke.”

In a subsequent attack, Coleman said, Moore used a “sledgehammer” during the assault to crack open a gun safe.

After the shooting, then Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said deputies had responded to domestic violence calls involving Moore, but he wasn’t there when deputies arrived, so no arrest was made.

In addition, Moore violated a pending domestic violence protection order at the time of the shooting and had a warrant for his arrest on another domestic violence offense.

After the sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Bill Barrett said, “Thanks goes out to the first responders who ran towards the sound of gunfire during this tragic incident. They put their safety in jeopardy in order to save the victim and her children, as well as others in the neighborhood. The law enforcement officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff’s Emergency Services Unit, and all the other law enforcement agencies who immediately responded to the scene should be commended. Our community will not tolerate this type of violence.”

McIlrath and Barrett prosecuted the case.


(c) 2023 The Sun Herald

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