‘Untouchable’: Why one of William Edwards’ Facebook targets says his war of words only intensified
Bond denied for social media personality facing first-degree murder charge
CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Mississippi Supreme Court ruling two years ago set the stage for William Ervin Edwards’ favorite pastime: using words as weapons against those he chose to fight on social media.
Pastor Roderick Richardson said that ruling made Edwards -- who goes by Polo and The Cipher Voice -- feel like he could get away with anything.
“We’re not entirely surprised by what he did. He just fulfilled the things that he said on his Facebook Live,” Richardson said.
Edwards, who faces a first-degree murder charge for shooting and killing Better Men Society founder Robert Davis, will remain in jail after a Clinton municipal judge denied bond for the social media personality.
“Due to the nature of the crimes alleged, and the possibility of life imprisonment upon conviction on those crimes, as well as the extreme violence of the alleged acts... and you already demonstrated the propensity for interstate flight, I’m going to deny bail,” Judge William Purdie said.
Richardson’s first encounter with Edwards came six years ago, when the Facebook personality started throwing accusations his way.
“He said that we were stealing money, he said that I was messing with little girls and all of these other types of allegations, which, of course, were unsubstantiated,” Richardson said. “He actually threatened me as well as my family, indicating that wherever he saw me, he will be utilizing his Smith and Wesson.”
Richardson filed criminal charges against Edwards and a Madison County jury found him guilty of posting injurious messages, sentencing him to prison for five years in 2018.
Two years later, the Mississippi Supreme Court found -- on appeal -- that charge was a violation of the First Amendment, reversing and remanding Edwards’ case.
“It empowered him because he presented it in a way as if he fought it and won, but it was a simple mistake made by the district attorney,” Richardson said. “It gave him a sense of being untouchable.”
Edwards’ feuds with other elected officials -- most notably Hinds County District 2 Supervisor David Archie -- reaching a level where Archie even filed charges against him.
Archie pressed charges against Edwards last year for simple assault, obscene electronic communication and cyberstalking after Edwards said he wanted to execute the supervisor with information.
“He said that, ‘I’m going to take the three, and I’m going to line them up, and I’m going to execute them.’ Then he paused and said ‘with information.’ And so he was able to know that he was saying something that was totally wrong. And he caught himself. But look at the threats that he provided on TV, at a news press conference in the hall of city hall towards the city council person,” Archie said. “He assassinates people’s character.”
Archie and others who had been in The Cipher’s crosshairs attended Thursday’s initial appearance.
“This guy Polo, William Edwards, Cipher, whatever you want to call him. I call him the Devil because I knew that he came to kill, steal and destroy, and he destroyed himself with the effort of trying to destroy others,” Archie said.
Edwards allegedly fled the state and was apprehended by New Orleans Police two days ago.
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