By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
A man who was in jail on an armed robbery conviction that left a man disabled has now been convicted of assaulting and disabling a correctional officer with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department.
According to a press release from the District Attorney’s Office, 35-year-old Matthew Thomas Rickman was found guilty on Wednesday of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
The assault occurred on Feb. 20, 2012, the release states. The incident was not reported to the media.
As a result of the assault, the unnamed correctional officer suffered broken bones and a permanent injury to one of his eyes, the release states. Sentencing on this conviction will take place on Jan. 25, and could result in adding a second life sentence without the possibility of parole to Rickman’s time in prison.
According to a previous story in the Item, Rickman had been convicted of a crime in another jurisdiction prior to being arrested in Pearl River County for the June 6, 2010, armed robbery of a Pine Grove resident. A jury heard that case in April of last year and found him guilty of armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for that conviction, according to the story.
The victim in the 2010 armed robbery case also was left with a disability after being shot three times by Rickman’s accomplice, Thomas Sanchez, then 22, during the robbery, previous stories state. Sanchez received 25 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for his part in the 2010 armed robbery.