'Wild Bill' guilty of first degree murder, gets life sentence

A Hardin County Circuit Court jury found William "Wild Bill" Umfleet guilty as charged this afternoon in the killing of Thomas "Doodle" Dickson of Savannah.

Following a trial that went into a third day, jurors deliberated three hours before convicting Umfleet of first degree murder. The victim’s skull was crushed and his throat slashed in last year’s fatal May 5 attack at Dickson’s 25 Freeman St. mobile home.

Defense attorney Robert Thomas of Jackson had argued that although Umfleet was at Dickson’s home that day, when he left Dickson was "alive and well."

On the prosecution side, evidence was presented showing a mixture of Umfleet’s and Dickson’s blood on a shirt that was proven to be worn by Umfleet on the day of the murder. The blood was confirmed as belonging to Dickson by DNA testing.

Circuit Court Judge Creed McGinley immediately sentenced 55-year-old Umfleet to life in prison.

For the full story, read the upcoming print edition of The Courier on Aug. 22.

Mold closes library in new school

Aug. 9– Just two days into the new school year, the library is closed until further notice at East Hardin Elementary School in Savannah and the culprit is mold.

Maintenance workers reportedly found the mold in the school just entering its fourth year of service several weeks before classes resumed.

Hardin County Director of Schools John Thomas said the air conditioning had been set at too warm a level during the summer, allowing mold to grow because of higher humidity.

East Hardin is built on relatively low-lying ground on the site of a former sod farm. This summer has been unusually rainy, contributing to high humidity levels.

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