Fall River Armed Robber Sentenced to Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III

District Attorney​

Press Release

February 5, 2019

A 46-year-old Fall River man was sentenced to serve five years in state prison after being convicted last week in Superior Court of breaking into cars and attempting to assault victims in a Walmart Parking Lot14 months ago, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

William Wrightington pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court on Friday to a multi-count indictment charging him with armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering, and breaking and entering—putting a person in fear.

On December 21, 2017, the first victim was sitting in his car in the Walmart parking lot in Fall River, waiting for his work shift to begin.  The defendant drove his red truck alongside the driver’s side of the victim’s vehicle and parked.  The defendant got out of his truck and smashed the victim’s driver’s side window with a hammer, causing glass to strike the victim’s face, resulting in minor cuts to his nose and chin. Once the window was smashed, the defendant threatened the victim with an orange box cutter and demanded money.  When the victim displayed an empty wallet, the defendant verbally threatened to shoot him with a gun. The victim was able to put his car into reverse and back away before running into the Walmart for help.

A short distance away, a second victim was exiting the Staples store when he noticed a man exiting his car in the parking lot and holding his camera. The victim asked the suspect to drop the camera but the the defendant refused.   The defendant continued to walk away while the victim followed him, repeating his demands to drop the camera.  The defendant then turned around, motioned that he had a weapon and began chasing the victim around the parking lot. Off duty Fall River Police Officer Luis Vertentes saw the defendant chasing the victim and began to approach the defendant who had now stopped the chase and gotten back into his red truck. Officer Vertentes confronted the suspect, who refused to exit the truck,  Officer Vertentes physically pulled the suspect out of the truck and detained him until uniformed officers arrived.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jason Mohan and the five year state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.  Judge Yessayan also placed the defendant on supervised probation for three years, which will commence when the defendant is released from prison.

“This is a very violent incident that must have terrified the victim. Although the defendant was apparently drinking alcohol before the violent encounter, this conduct is outrageous and cannot be tolerated,” District Attorney Quinn said.

Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications