Hinds County Assistant DA Indicted on Conspiracy Counts

September 8, 2016

A Hinds County assistant district attorney was indicted by a Hinds County grand jury Wednesday, accused of conspiring with DA Robert Shuler Smith and others to hinder prosecution of a criminal defendant.

Jamie K. McBride, 52, of Madison was indicted on two felony counts of conspiracy to hinder prosecution. He was arrested late Wednesday afternoon and booked into the Hinds County Jail. Smith was also indicted on Wednesday on related charges.

The grand jury accuses McBride of conspiring with Smith, former assistant DA Ivon Johnson and unnamed co-conspirators to hinder prosecution of criminal defendant Christopher Butler in four different Hinds County Circuit Court cases.

As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 


Hinds County District Attorney Indicted for Conspiracy to Hinder Prosecution

September 7, 2016

Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Hinds County grand jury has indicted Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith on two felony charges, accusing Smith of conspiring with an assistant DA to hinder prosecution of a criminal defendant.

Smith, 45, of Jackson, is charged with two counts of conspiring to hinder prosecution in the first degree, felony charges punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on each count.

Additionally, the grand jury indicted Smith on a misdemeanor count of violating Mississippi Code Section 97-11-3, which states that a DA shall not “consult, advise, counsel or defend” a person charged with a crime. If convicted of that charge, Smith faces removal from office and a fine of up to $500.

“As a former district attorney, I have the utmost respect for the work our district attorneys do every day to make Mississippi a safer place to live. They are my colleagues in the fight against crime,” Attorney General Hood said. “So it brings me no pleasure to prosecute one of our own. But a Hinds County grand jury has indicted Mr. Smith for serious violations of the law that hamper the ability of our criminal justice system to do its job. My hope is that this case is resolved fairly and expeditiously for the sake of the citizens of Hinds County.” 

The three-count indictment alleges that Smith conspired with former Assistant DA Ivon Johnson and with unnamed co-conspirators to hinder the prosecution of criminal defendant Christopher Butler in four different Hinds County Circuit Court cases. The grand jury indicted Smith for violating Mississippi Code Section 97-11-3 based on allegations that Smith met with Butler at the Hinds County Jail outside the presence of Butler’s attorney, advised Butler’s attorney about ways to undermine the State’s case against Butler, and sought to have Butler released from jail.

Johnson pleaded guilty in federal court in July to conspiring to take money in exchange for lowering bond for a criminal defendant.

As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

 


Jackson Man Going to Prison for Auto Theft

August 26, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Jackson man has been sentenced for auto theft.

Jack Kirby Waters, 57, appeared Thursday before Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Weill, Sr., and pleaded guilty to one count of auto theft. Judge Weill sentenced Waters to 10 years in prison with five of those years suspended, leaving five years to serve.

On October 8, 2014, Waters was given the keys when he misrepresented himself as a wholesale dealer to an employee at Paul Moak Honda in Jackson. Walters retrieved the keys to a Honda Accord when he requested to test drive the vehicle then drove the vehicle off the lot of Paul Moak.

Waters has been previously convicted of three felonies prior to this crime. He was convicted of false pretense in 2002, shoplifting in 2013 and auto theft in 2014, all in Hinds County.

The case was investigated by the Jackson Police Department.  Prosecution of the case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.


Jackson Man Going to Prison for Depraved Heart Murder

August 25, 2016

Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Jackson man has been sentenced for depraved heart murder of a 15-year-old student a Jackson high school.

Dennis Pickett, 21, appeared before Hinds County Circuit Court Judge William Gowan Wednesday and pleaded guilty to depraved heart murder.  Judge Gowan sentenced Pickett to 20 years to serve in prison, which he must serve day-for-day.

Destinee Ford, a 15-year-old freshman student, was killed outside a Jackson high school on the afternoon of Dec. 5, 2013, after classes had been dismissed for the day.  An investigation revealed that Ford was shot during a fight between students.  Pickett and two other defendants were charged with her murder.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victim’s family, and we cannot understate our appreciation to the Jackson Police Department for their persistence and hard work and for making this arrest,” Attorney General Hood said. “We thank Judge Gowan for the solid sentence bringing this defendant to justice for this senseless murder.”

The case was a joint investigation by Attorney General Investigators Perry Tate and Miller Faulk and the Jackson Police Department.  Prosecution was handled by Special Assistant Attorneys General Patrick Beasley and Alison O’Neal McMinn.

 


Madison County Man Arrested for Child Exploitation

August 25, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Madison County man has been arrested and charged with one count of child exploitation.

Timothy Flanagan, 39, of Bentonia, was arrested late Wednesday by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce with assistance from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Flanagan was booked into the Madison County Jail with no bond set and is awaiting his initial appearance.

Investigators executed a search warrant following an investigation of online activity. As a result of the search warrant, he was arrested.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.


Hinds County Deputy Sheriff Arrested for Alleged Conspiracy and Possession of a Controlled Substance

August 25, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Hinds County Deputy Sheriff has been arrested for alleged conspiracy and possession of Oxycodone following a joint investigation by the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Attorney General’s Office.

Douglas Jay Nelson, 54, of Jackson, was arrested late Wednesday in Byram by authorities for one count of conspiracy and one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was booked into the Hinds County Jail.

Nelson is accused of conspiring to possess and possessing 30 dosage units of Oxycodone, a schedule two controlled substance.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy, 20 years for possession of a controlled substance and a total of $500,000 in fines. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander.

The public is being asked to come forward with any information concerning the defendant that could help the investigation.


Lee County Woman Going to Prison for Exploitation of Vulnerable Person

August 24, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Saltillo woman has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of exploitation of a vulnerable person.

April Whaley, 27, appeared before Judge James L. Roberts, Jr. in Lee County Circuit Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person. Judge Roberts sentenced Whaley to 10 years in prison with nine of those years suspended, leaving Whaley with one year to serve. She was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund. Additionally, she must pay full restitution of $33,000 to the victim.

At the time of the crime, Whaley’s mother, Dorothy Whitmon, was serving as a caretaker for the victim and she awaits trial on similar charges. April Whaley was arrested in February 2014 for obtaining the victim’s bank card to withdraw approximately $33,000 for her personal use without the victim’s permission.

“We have a moral obligation and responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” Attorney General Hood said. “I thank Judge Roberts for holding this defendant liable for paying back everything she took from the victim.”

The case was investigated by Russell Frazier and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Marvin Sanders and Robert G. Anderson of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division/Vulnerable Adults Unit.


Philadelphia Man Arrested for Child Exploitation

August 22, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Philadelphia man has been arrested and charged with one count of child exploitation.

Edwin Jay Bradford, 42, was arrested Saturday following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit with assistance from the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Sebastopol Police Department. Bradford was booked into the Scott County Detention Center

Investigators arrested Bradford in Forest and the affidavit accuses him of feloniously, and knowingly enticing, inducing, persuading, soliciting, or ordering a child to meet with him for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct, as defined by Mississippi Code Section 97-5-33(6).

Bradford made his initial appearance today before Scott County Justice Court Judge Bill Freeman. Judge Freeman set his bond at $250,000. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.