Angola inmate refuses to speak in court

Advocate staff photo by JAMES MINTON Convicted murderer Warner Wiley, right, enters the West Feliciana Parish Courthouse on Thursday to answer an attempted first-degree murder charge in the Feb. 11 brutal beating of a female security officer at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Wiley is followed by West Feliciana Parish Jail Warden Randy Holden, left, after sheriff's deputies booked the inmate before his first court appearance. Wiley refused to respond to District Judge William Carmichael's questions in court, and the judge entered a Show caption
Advocate staff photo by JAMES MINTON Convicted murderer Warner Wiley, right, enters the West Feliciana Parish Courthouse on Thursday to answer an attempted first-degree murder charge in the Feb. 11 brutal beating of a female security officer at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Wiley is followed by West Feliciana Parish Jail Warden Randy Holden, left, after sheriff's deputies booked the inmate before his first court appearance. Wiley refused to respond to District Judge William Carmichael's questions in court, and the judge entered a "not guilty" plea on his behalf.

A state prisoner accused of beating a Louisiana State Penitentiary security officer last month refused to answer a judge Thursday in the inmate’s first court appearance since the attack.

West Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputies booked Warner Wiley, 51, at the Parish Jail with attempted first-degree murder in the Feb. 11 attack on the 52-year-old woman in Angola’s Main Prison complex.

Wiley is serving a life sentence for the 1983 beating death and rape of an elderly woman in Franklin Parish. Prosecutors sought the death penalty in his trial, but the jury could not reach a unanimous sentencing verdict.

Wiley stood in silence before 20th Judicial District Judge William G. Carmichael Thursday and refused to give his name.

“Is Mr. Wiley deaf?” Carmichael asked, and a deputy whispered something to Wiley.

“Impertinent,” the judge commented as Wiley continued to remain silent.

“Mr. Wiley has evidently decided he will not respond to my questions,” Carmichael then responded, ordering a “not guilty” plea on Wiley’s behalf.

The judge set Wiley’s trial for the week of July 15.

Wiley was being held in a medical ward at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel after being hospitalized shortly after the attack for treatment of a possible heart attack.

Sheriff’s investigator Maj. Archer Lee said the victim suffered extensive lacerations to her ear when she was hit with a metal pan similar to those used in buffet serving lines. She is recovering from her wounds, he said.

The investigation is continuing, and deputies are awaiting an analysis of evidence submitted to the State Police Crime Laboratory, Lee said.