July 12, 2014
The teen accused of beating an elderly Clarksdale woman will not go to trial due to her death.
Shirley Gordon, the only witness prosecutors had, died last December at age 79, and she’s the only witness to the crime and the only one that could identify Edward Malane, Jr. as her attacker.
Malane allegedly inflicted the injuries on the elderly Gordon with a concrete block while in the act of stealing her car.
Gordon said Malane, who was just 14 years old at the time, followed her home from a nearby convenience store and took her PT Cruiser when she went into her house to get a debit card.
Shirley Gordon never got the chance to see Malane stand trial for assaulting her, and after her death, a Coahoma County Circuit Court judge tossed the case out of court with an order of nolle prosequi, meaning “we shall no longer prosecute.”
“It was kind of a shock to me. It said that it had been dismissed June 6th. And my heart hurt because I felt like an injustice had been done to my mom,” Gordon’s daughter, Tina Wilbanks, said.
It is not believed Gordon’s death is directly linked to the attack.
Gordon told WREG, “I was praying and doing everything I knew I could do. That’s why I fought him back with what I could do. I was popping him when I could.”
Wilbanks said she thinks the DA’s office did not move quickly enough.
“I think the DA’s office maybe took just too long to work on it,” said Wilbanks.
Wilbanks said her mother started developing health issues that affected her memory.
“She had been showing signs of dementia and it worsened. And I had told their office and no one came. And then when the guy finally came, my mom couldn’t even respond to his questions about what color the guy was or anything,” said Wilbanks.
While she is a strong believer in the justice system, Wilbanks said she feels like her mother was victimized twice: once by Edward Malane and once by the legal system.
“Well, this is done, Nothing’s going to happen. He’s not going to have to pay the price for what’s been done,” said Wilbanks.
Wilbank’s is relieved Malane will serve 20 years for kidnapping and assaulting a 4-year-old boy in Tunica County while out on a reduced bond.