Man convicted in 2012 nightclub shooting, murder

Published 5:51 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

A 35-year-old Selma man was convicted of murder Thursday afternoon for shooting and killing a 72-year-old man outside of a nightclub in 2012.

According to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, after deliberating for about an hour, a Dallas County jury found Caleb Shaw guilty of murder and first-degree assault in the death of Willie Thomas.

“We have gotten another big gunslinger off the street,” Jackson said.

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The trial began last Wednesday and finally came to a conclusion Thursday afternoon.

Jackson said Shaw faces 20 years to life in prison.

“Hopefully this will bring some closure to the victim’s family,” Jackson said. “My assistant district attorney’s Shannon Holloway and Jimmy Thomas did an excellent job in presenting the evidence.”

The shooting happened on April 1, 2012, between 11-11:30 p.m. outside of Sqwavee’s Place on Shelly Avenue. Jackson said Thomas was not the intended victim.

According to court documents, Thomas went to the club with his friend, Moses Harris Jr., and after being inside for a while decided to leave.

Thomas told investigators he decided to leave because he had to work the next day, and as he stepped outside, Harris had just been hit in the mouth by someone.

He said Harris told him he was jumped by someone and said “let’s go.”

As Thomas was headed to his vehicle, he looked back and saw Shaw holding a pistol in his hand.

Thomas said he continued toward his vehicle and Harris ran past him. Thomas then heard shots fired and was hit.

According to previous Times-Journal reports, Thomas did not immediately die from the injury but was instead paralyzed.

Then Selma Police Chief William T. Riley said Thomas was shot in the neck and suffered severe damage to his vertebrae.

Thomas died months later on Nov. 6, 2012.

The case went several months without an arrest until July 13 when Shaw was arrested.

Jackson said Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins revoked Shaw’s bond and ordered him to jail while a pre-sentence investigation and report can be conducted.