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Crime News Snapped

"Whoever Wanted This Man Dead Chased Him to His Death": Who Brutally Murdered John Wilty?

Angela Wilty and John Wilty had a volatile relationship, one that would end in his murder.

By Caitlin Schunn

Money was at the heart of an unstable marriage that ended in a Mississippi man’s mysterious murder, with his body found at the end of his neighbor’s driveway. As police investigated Angela and John Wilty’s relationship, they discovered plenty of red flags.

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“They fight over money,” Sherrie Driver, Olive Branch police major, said on Snapped, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. “They fight over women that Mr. Wilty supposedly was seeing. She didn’t tell us any of this in the interview. We’re taking a step back now, going, ‘Oh my god, they had a very rocky relationship.’”

Although the murder remained unsolved for close to a year, one call to police changed everything, as it led to Angela Wilty’s arrest.

How was John Wilty killed?

A neighbor called 911 dispatchers in Olive Branch, Mississippi just before dawn on the morning of March 23, 2018.

“There’s a dead man laying at the end of my driveway … looks like he’s been shot,” the caller said.

First responders found the man in a pool of blood with two gunshot wounds to the chest. His wallet was found on him, along with his driver’s license which identified him as 50-year-old John Wilty. His address was listed as two doors down from where his body was found.

“It appeared to us that whoever wanted this man dead chased him to his death,” Driver said. “As I’m looking at his hands, it appeared he crawled to where he ultimately died. The skin was coming off of his knuckles.”

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After learning Wilty typically left early for work, between 4 and 4:30 a.m., they surmised he was ambushed as he was leaving. His car keys were found at the end of his driveway. His truck was parked outside his home, with the door open. Multiple bullet holes were found in the truck, including a gun casing found in the driver’s side door.

Angela Wilty featured on Snapped episode 3311

Officers knocked on the door of the home to talk to John’s wife, Angela Wilty. The couple had met in the spring of 2001. Angela was a single mother at the time, raising two boys, while John had five children from three failed relationships. The two had a daughter together in 2002 and got married in 2003.

“They tell her that her husband has been shot, and she didn’t seem very surprised, didn’t seem emotional at all,” said prosecutor Tori Williams on Snapped.

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Angela told police she’d been in bed asleep at the time her husband was killed, and didn’t hear anything.

“She had these good things to say about him, but at the same time, there was something off,” said journalist Aisha Raison on Snapped. “She showed no emotion as a widow.”

How was Angela Wilty's relationship with her husband, John?

Angela allowed police to download the contents of her phone, including texts and emails. What it revealed was that the Wiltys did not have a happy marriage.

“There’s some infidelity,” Driver said. “There’s multiple men that she has long conversations with on the phone, and text messages.”

Police also discovered Angela was constantly in contact with her stepfather, C.S.O. Norvell, about her marriage.

When they spoke to John Wilty’s coworkers, they learned more about his difficult marriage.

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“When law enforcement speak to [John’s co-worker] Kyle, they learn that Angela had had an affair and left John at some point, and that John moved out and moved in with Kyle,” Williams said.

Kyle also spoke about an incident involving the married couple in 2015.

“Kyle said her and John had gotten into a big fight … and Angela had cut John’s knee area open with a box cutter,” Driver said.

Angela Wilty’s ex-husband, Michael Casey, also had a shocking reveal for police: He claimed Angela solicited him years ago to kill her new husband, and was even willing to pay him a couple thousand dollars.

“She wanted me to get the gun and everything,” Michael Casey told police during an interview. “I was like, ‘No.’ Basically, it came out of the blue.”

Casey also claimed to police that Angela told him she’d tried to poison John.

“He said she had crushed up some pills at one point in time, and John got sick, but didn’t die, and nobody was sent to the hospital,” Williams said.  

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Police discovered John Wilty had a $750,000 life insurance policy. His wife and children had been equal beneficiaries until 2015, when the policy changed to leave Angela Wilty as the only beneficiary. Two days after the murder, Angela filed a claim on that life insurance.

Although police had a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to Angela Wilty, the murder case went nowhere until October 2018.

How did police get a break in the murder case from Angela Wilty's own son?

In October 2018, six months after John was gunned down, police were called to a domestic disturbance between Angela Wilty and Bradley Casey, Angela’s 20-year-old son. They’d gotten into an argument after Angela took his car away, and Bradley was ready to talk to police.

“In his anger over a car, he begins to spill the beans, stating that he not only knows who killed John but he also knows where the evidence is,” Raison said.

Bradley Casey alleged to police that his mother told him her stepfather, C.S.O. Norvell, killed John Wilty.

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“I asked her, was she involved?” Bradley Casey said during a police interview. “And she said, ‘Yes.’ She asked me to hide the gun. I knew where it was … I should’ve called y’all.”

He told police his mother asked him to go to Norvell’s house, get the gun from a cat litter bucket in the backyard, and throw it in a pond behind the home, but he refused.

By the time police searched Norvell’s home, they were unable to find the cat litter bucket in the yard — until they searched a crawl space under the home. The cat litter bucket contained a gun and ammunition. The ammunition matched the casings found at the murder scene. Blood spots found on the gun were identified by DNA analysis as belonging to John Wilty — and the gun was purchased by Angela Wilty.

On March 4, 2019, nearly a year after his death, Angela Wilty was charged with plotting John Wilty’s murder. Norvell was charged with first-degree murder.

Police and prosecutors argued that they’d discovered John Wilty was planning on leaving his wife soon before his murder.

“I believe Angela killed John because she was losing control of the situation,” said Denise Edgeworth, John Wilty’s ex-girlfriend, on Snapped. “He was done.”

Angela accepted a plea deal for reduced charges if she testified against her stepfather. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and is eligible for parole in September 2041 at the age of 59.

In May 2022, Norvell went on trial, but was aquitted by a jury. He was jailed for the parole violation of possession of a firearm.

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