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Repeat Offender Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation: Will Serve Fifty Years in MDOC

Repeat Offender Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation: Will Serve Fifty Years in MDOC
Defendant: Name: Willard Geven Knight Date of Birth: 04/05/1991

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced today that Willard Geven Knight, 33, was sentenced to serve a total of 50 years for multiple counts of child exploitation, which must be served without the possibility of parole.


In January 2023, deputies from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department began working an undercover operation to identify an individual using social networks to receive, traffic, share, and distribute images and videos depicting child pornography. The investigation revealed that Knight had recently moved from his home located in Rankin County to Wesson. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), and Homeland Security assisted in the apprehension of Knight at his home in Wesson. During the search of his residence, multiple electronic devices were seized during the arrest and were processed by the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department. Those devices contained numerous photos and videos of child pornography.


At the time of his arrest, Knight was already a registered sex offender who was on supervised probation through the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a 2015 conviction for child exploitation. In the 2015 case, which the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted, Knight was sentenced to 40 years to serve, with 35 of those years suspended. He spent five years in prison and was released onto supervised probation through MDOC.


Upon his arrest for the new 2023 charges, Judge Dewey Arthur revoked the suspended sentence and ordered that he serve the entirety of the previously suspended sentence of 35 years.


In April of 2024, Knight pled guilty to the new charges of child exploitation. Upon completion of the 35-year sentence imposed by Judge Arthur, he will serve an additional fifteen years for this conviction. Knight will now serve a total of 50 years, day for day, without the possibility of parole or early release.


“We appreciate the diligent efforts of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, MDOC, and Homeland Security in ensuring this dangerous repeat child sex offender is off the streets and locked away for the next 50 years,” stated Bramlet. “




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