Angola beating suspect beat woman to death in 1983

A Louisiana State Penitentiary inmate accused of severely beating a female employee at the prison Monday night is serving a life sentence for beating an elderly woman to death in 1983.

According to an appellate decision upholding Warner Wiley’s first-degree murder conviction in Franklin Parish, Wiley also sexually assaulted the 1983 victim.

West Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputies are investigating the assault on the correctional officer, who was beaten in her face and head with a metal serving pan.

The officer, whose name has not been released, remained under treatment in a hospital Thursday, sheriff’s Maj. Archer Lee said.

Lee said the 52-year-old woman suffered extensive lacerations to her ear when she was hit with a metal pan similar to those used in buffet serving lines.

“She’s not sure how many times she was struck,” said Lee, the chief of the sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the attack on the officer, he said.

“There’s nothing to indicate it wasn’t anything but a random attack,” Lee said.

The investigation is continuing, and Wiley may be transported from Angola to St. Francisville for booking and an initial court appearance on Thursday, Lee said.

“He will be booked with attempted first-degree murder,” Lee said.

“Another inmate walked in, and that stopped him,” Lee added.

Wiley, now 51, has been an Angola inmate since 1986. He was assigned as a janitor in the Main Prison housing area of Angola.

A 1987 decision by the state 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal says Wiley attacked Myrla Massey, who was in her mid- to late 70s, in a bedroom of her home in Winnsboro.

“She was repeatedly beaten about the head with a long piece of wood or metal such as an angle iron or an ax handle,” the decision says.

The state’s forensic pathologist testified that extensive force was used in deliver-
ing the blows to Massey’s head, causing two skull fractures.

The victim’s 83-year-old deaf husband, who was in a separate bedroom at the time of the attack, did not hear any disturbance but found her body the next morning, the decision says.