TUPELO • Two men accused of an armed assault pleaded to lesser charges and their teenage cohort is no longer facing charges as an adult.
According to court documents, Michael Graham, 18, of Tupelo; Michael Rex Harris, 20, of Mooreville; and Trinity Zihlman, 15, of Tupelo; held at least two juveniles at gunpoint at a Ruffwood residence and physically assaulted them on the evening of Nov. 21, 2018. All three were indicted on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon earlier this year.
On Aug. 29, the charges against Graham were reduced to simple assault, a misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 90 days suspended, and to pay court costs and fines of $937.74.
The following day, Harris pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of exhibition of a weapon, a misdemeanor, He was also ordered to serve 90 days in jail and to pay $837.75 in court costs and fines.
Both men started serving their time Sept. 2. By court order, after 30 days they can transfer to the work release program for the final two months. In that program, they can work jobs during the day and are only locked up at night.
Zihlman, who was 14 at the time of the crime, was indicted as an adult and arrested in February. She spent less than three hours in the county jail before a judge released her on her own recognizance.
In mid-August, Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mims reviewed her case and transferred it to Lee County Youth Court. Since those records are sealed, it is not known how her charges were disposed.
According to court documents and police reports at the time, the three assaulted two male juveniles at a south Tupelo house the night before Thanksgiving 2018. After they were released, the juveniles left, got a gun and returned. When Graham and Harris left the house around 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving, numerous shots rang out.
Harris was shot in the back and the foot as he ducked behind a vehicle to avoid the assailants. Neither injury was life-threatening. He was taken to the North Mississippi Medical Center, treated and released.
The alleged shooters were juveniles and any criminal charges against them were handled in youth court.