Skip to content

Preliminary hearing set for man charged in shooting death of Terry Wilson

Story by Shannon Taylor, Senior Reporter

A Martin man now faces a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the April 22 shooting of another man.

Mantaring Okie Woolridge, 44, was taken into custody April 25 on an arrest warrant charging him in connection with the shooting death of 39-year-old Terry Wilson Jr. of Martin.

Martin Assistant Police Chief Phillip Fuqua reported police responded 5:19 p.m. April 22 to a disturbance at 406 North Lindell St., the location of Haircuts R Us Family Barber Shop, which is owned by Woolridge.

Officers from the Martin Police Department arrived to find Wilson deceased as the result of a single gunshot wound.

Dresden attorney Jeff Washburn, who was contacted to provide legal assistance to Woolridge, said Wilson’s body was found behind the Carl Perkins Center office building, located at 408 North Lindell St., adjacent to the barber shop where the shooting was alleged to have occurred.

Washburn said Wilson ran from the scene right after the shooting happened and his body was not immediately discovered after police arrived at the barber shop, according to information from witnesses during the course of the investigation. Martin police’s Criminal Investigations Division responded and began an investigation which led to Woolridge’s arrest on the second-degree murder charge.

Washburn said he was contacted when Woolridge was questioned at the Martin police station the afternoon of April 24 and was present during much of the interrogation then and again the afternoon of April 25 before Woolridge was served with the arrest warrant and taken into custody.  Washburn also works as a part-time attorney with the public defender’s office.

Washburn indicated Woolridge originally planned to seek to have the public defender’s office represent him, but because of the office’s representation of a witness who was present with Wilson at the time of the shooting, the public defender’s office had a conflict of interest and recused itself from participating in the case. Washburn said Weakley County General Sessions Judge Tommy Moore is currently considering appointing an experienced criminal trial attorney to represent Woolridge at the preliminary hearing and future court proceedings.

Woolridge was arraigned on the charge last Wednesday afternoon in Weakley County General Sessions Court, where Moore set his bond at $100,000.

Woolridge’s preliminary hearing will be held this week, but a date had not yet been set Wednesday. Washburn said hearings are typically held on Wednesdays, but the case could get moved as early as Monday.

Washburn said he expects Woolridge will present a self-defense case.

In Tennessee, second-degree murder is a Class A felony offense punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.