Wharton coach attack suspects indicted

A locker room fight in the Wharton High School field house during an October football game’s halftime could mean up to 10 years in prison for three teenage students.

Their victim, authorities say, wasn’t another player, but rather the team’s assistant football coach.

Little detail has been released on the Oct. 8 fight, with Wharton ISD Superintendent Michael O’Guin saying the violence had been addressed, but failing to say what steps were taken.

Wharton County Grand Jury session opted for action this month with single-count indictments for assault of a public servant handed down to 18-year-old Jalik Versean Knight of 501 E. Caney, 17-year-old Allyn Mikal Perez of 607 E. Columbus and 17-year-old Omarian Dpree Marks of 527 E. Caney, all in Wharton.

Marks stands accused of dragging assistant coach Jayden Jennings to the ground striking him in the torso with a closed fist.

Authorities allege Perez also used his fist to hit Jennings in the torso. Knight, officials say, hit the coach in the face.

WISD never released whether the coach required any medical treatment.

No official statements had been made on why the attack took place or if the players returned to the field for the second half.

Perez’ mother later claimed the incident involved a cellphone. A player wanted to use one, she told the Wharton Journal-Spectator, and the coach’s telling the child ‘no’ prompted the violence which started with a verbal argument and led ultimately to a scuffle.

She reportedly has a grievance filed against the school district.

The investigation into the fight was conducted by Wharton ISD police, a district-run force, which arrested the three in November.

Assault of the public servant is a third degree felony in Texas punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A month after the locker room fight, two Wharton ISD educators were arrested by Wharton police on marijuana charges after being discovered in Wharton’s Pleasure Park, 2819 N. Walnut Park, after the park closed at 10 p.m., each in a separate vehicle. The park is just a few blocks away from the high school campus.

Although he reportedly worked as a Wharton Junior High School teacher, Marcus Andre Chandler, 42, of Rosharon also served as an assistant football coach. It’s unknown if he was in the fieldhouse on Oct. 8.

Shasha Rene Baldwin, 29, of Wharton, a Wharton Junior High special education inclusion teacher, was arrested at the same time.

Both were arrested Saturday, Nov. 6, for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana in a drug-free zone. Chandler also faces a misdemeanor unlawfully carrying a weapon charge.

Chandler’s brother, Richard Chandler, is the Wharton High School principal.

Marcus Chandler and Baldwin were placed on administrative leave at the time of the incident. Again, the superintendent refused to make any additional comment on the conduct of school employees or how, if at all, the two cases are linked.

Wharton ISD trustees reviewed the two workers in a November session, but opted to taken no action after an hour-long closed door meeting. The superintendent told the newspaper he had not made a recommendation on the two’s employment status, which remains unknown.

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