Starkville Walmart murder suspect had criminal history

January 17, 2018 11:09:19 AM



A man charged with capital murder in Starkville is a registered nurse who was arrested last month for an incident involving the same victim. 


William Thomas Chisholm, 41, still awaits his arraignment in municipal court after he allegedly shot dead 42-year-old optometrist Shauna Witt Saturday morning inside the Walmart store in west Starkville. Police arrested Chisholm in the store's parking lot shortly after officers arrived to the scene. 


Witt, who operated the eye center located in the store, had been in an "on again, off again dating relationship" with Chisholm, police said. 


At the time of the shooting, Chisholm was out on $5,000 bond stemming from a Dec. 12 felony malicious mischief arrest in Kosciusko. While Kosciusko Police Chief Herbert Dew offered few details to The Dispatch about the incident, he said Chisholm had reportedly "took and destroyed" some of Witt's personal items and clothing. The case, Dew said, is still under investigation. 


Dew said he believes Chisholm was a practicing nurse up until his arrest Saturday, but he wasn't sure where the suspect was employed. 


He was employed as a RN case manager, meaning he did not work directly with patients, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center from January 2011 to June 2012, according to a human resources representative The Dispatch contacted at the hospital on Tuesday. 


Chisholm had previously been involved with a standoff with Madison County Sheriff's Deputies in April 2012, according to Madison County Chief Deputy Jeremy Williams. Deputies responded to Chisholm's home for a welfare check at the request of Chisholm's mother and wound up in a four-hour standoff with Chisholm before they finally arrested him and took him a nearby hospital for mental evaluation, Williams said. While the case was referred to the District Attorney's Office, Williams said he didn't know if Chisholm was ever indicted or convicted. 


Neither the Madison County District Attorney's Office nor the Madison County Circuit Clerk's Office could be reached by press time. 


Chisholm's arraignment, scheduled for today, has been postponed due to winter weather.