St. Patrick's Day assault defendants all take misdemeanor plea deals

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - All six people charged in the St. Patrick's Day assault of a black man that spilled over onto ECU's campus all agreed to plea deals Monday morning.

Christopher Hill, Theresa Lee, Mack Humbles, Mark Privette, Jesse Wilbourn, and Chase Montanye all pled to misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, Hill took an Alford plea, meaning he admits there was enough evidence to convict him of the charge, but does not actually admit wrongdoing.

Several of the defendants were East Carolina University students at the time, one the son of a Greenville police officer, while another was the manager of the bar outside of where it all began.

Patrick Myrick was the victim of a group assault on St. Patrick's Day 2016 that began outside an uptown bar and ended up on ECU's campus. Myrick himself has been charged with misdemeanor assault on a female.

Police say Myrick hit a woman outside the Club 519, knocking her down. They say that's when others came to her aid and started attacking the man. Myrick got away, but was caught on campus where the attack continued, according to police. He was taken to Vidant Medical Center with serious injuries.

An ECU police sergeant, Ralph Whitehurst, was fired after authorities say he handcuffed Myrick, and not those who were eventually arrested. Myrick is black, while the officer and the suspects are all white.

Whitehurst appealed his dismissal, and in February a state administrative judge reversed it, saying the officer should only have been demoted.

ECU says it is appealing the judge's decision and Whitehurst has not yet been reinstated because of that appeal.

Judge Reuben Young has given all six co-defendants suspended sentences and probation for a year. Two of them, Wilbourn and Humbles, will have to serve two weekends behind bars.

The defendants are also ordered not to go on the property of ECU, take an anger management course, pay restitution to the victim and have no contact with him.

Myrick told the judge that his attack was "animalistic in nature". He said he was drunk, beaten unconscious, and has no recollection of assaulting the woman that led up to him being attacked.