Defendants plead guilty in ECU St. Patrick's Day assault last year

(Photos: Pitt County Sheriff's Office)

GREENVILLE, Pitt County - All six individuals charged with the assault of a black man in downtown Greenville on St. Patrick's Day in 2016 plead guilty to charges of assault this morning.

Christopher Hill, Theresa Lee, Mack Humbles, Mark Privette, Jesse Wilbourn, and Chase Montanye, face charges of assault inflicting serious injury in connection to the March 17, 2016 beating of Patrick Myrick that started outside Club 519 and continued onto East Carolina's campus.

The attack began when Myrick allegedly struck a woman outside the club and ended when ECU Police Sgt. Ralph Whitehurst handcuffed a beaten and bloodied Myrick. Whitehurst was later fired in connection with his actions.

"I had a broken nose, pretty much my whole body was black and blue, my eyes were swollen shut, I had cuts on the insides of my lips, my top lip was almost shredded," Myrick said.

The case sparked racial upset in the Greenville community, with the Pitt County Coalition Against Racism pushing back against District Attorney Kimberly Robb's decision not to release camera footage of the incident taken from nearby businesses.

On the morning of November 6, 2017, the defendants decided to enter guilty pleas for their charges. All of them are also jointly liable for restitution in the amount of $566.65.

Patrick Myrick addressed the courtroom after the sentencing. He said he has "no hard feelings" for any of the defendants.

"I don't have any bad blood towards them," Myrick said. "What happened is in the past, and I'm moving on with my life."

Myrick also said that the way he was attacked was "animalistic" and they had no proof that he assaulted the female when they attacked him. He expressed frustration with media circulating an unrelated, old mugshot of him in stories about the case when there were other photos readily available to him.

As each defendant pleaded guilty to assault inflicting serious injury, they took the time to apologize to Myrick and his family.

Myrick left the courtroom today saying he hopes to finally put the situation behind him.

"People make mistakes and people may not generally understand what they're doing at times, but I really learned a lot of forgiveness," Myrick said.

The judge gave all six defendants suspended sentences and 12 months probation. In addition, the defendants were also ordered to take anger management courses and stay away from ECU's campus and Myrick.