Suspect accused of cracking man’s skull with golf club appears in court; family, NAACP continue to seek justice

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 7:10 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been just over a month after a Memphis man was assaulted at a Whitehaven golf course.

The leader of the local NAACP Memphis Chapter and Mark Coleman’s family say they want justice.

Following a nearly two-hour long wait, Wesley Caldwell, the man charged in the assault, appeared at Shelby County Court on Tuesday.

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He’s out of jail on a $5,000 bond, but Coleman’s family says the charges should be upgraded.

“When everyone came to court today, we learned that the defendant was not present,” NAACP President Van Turner said. “So, the prosecutor asked about the defendant not being present. His attorney asked that he be excused today, and the prosecutor said no, which we feel was the right call.”

Caldwell eventually did make it into the courtroom, but for the Coleman family and Turner, the damage was already done.

“It is frustrating,” Turner said. “But I’m standing here with the family and the fraternity brothers of Mr. Coleman and we’re all committed to seeing this to the end.”

The incident happened in December at a Whitehaven golf course.

A golf ball from Coleman’s group landed in an area close to where Caldwell’s group was putting.

According to police, Caldwell became so upset he swung his putter at Coleman’s head when he came to retrieve the ball.

Coleman ended up with a cracked skull and on life support at Regional One Hospital, which is why Turner says the charges are too low.

“We have an innocent man that was hit in the head with a golf club,” Tuner said. “So, attempted second-degree murder, some form of an elevated charge should be there. You have one innocent person who was not fighting, non-threatening, hadn’t brandished a weapon, didn’t hold his golf club up, none of that, and he was hit in the head... and so this is more than an aggravated assault case.”

In a statement, District Attorney Steve Mulroy’s office says:

“We are continuing to look into the matter. As we receive information from different sources, we will make decisions as appropriate. We take seriously any alleged offense involving injuries to the victim, including this case where the injuries are severe.”

Action News 5 reached out to Caldwell’s attorney for comment but has not heard back.

Caldwell is due back in court on Feb. 1.

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