Thursday, February 11, 2016

D.A. trying to drop case against drug dealer.

The Hinds County District Attorney attempted to drop charges against an accused drug dealer.  Christopher Butler was twice indicted by a Hinds County grand jury in 2012 for  possessing more than one kilo of marijuana.  Butler was twice previously convicted of felonies and will be classified as a habitual offender if convicted. Butler is 38 years old.

Butler was convicted of selling cocaine and possessing marijuana in 2000.  The current cases have been repeatedly continued as shown in the dockets posted below.  District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is personally prosecuting each indictment.  He moved to dismiss them in 2015.  However, the motions themselves were rather um, interesting.  Judge Weill denied the motion for nolle prosequi in each case on May 8.  Judge Weill stated:

This matter was set for a plea hearing on January 7, 2015, and in advance of that docket, the District Attorney presented the Court with an Order of Nolle Prosequi. See Exhibit "A", attached (KF note: Part of case is sealed.).  No motion was presented with the proposed order in violation of Rule 6.07 of the Uniform Circuit Court and County Rules.  A hearing was held on January 22, 2015 at the conclusion of which the undersigned (Judge Weill) instructed the parties to submit a detailed, written motion for nolle prosequi for his consideration along with documentation supporting the propriety of the order, within ten days.  The motion and supporting information was due to the court no later than Monday, February 2, 2015 and as o the date of this order, no such information ohas been submitted.  As the movant failed to comply wiwth the order of othis court and URCCC 6.07, the Corut find that the matter is not well-taken and should be denied.

The D.A. got spanked pretty good but didn't take his butt-whipping and go home.  Nope. The docket states Mr. Smith filed a motion to disqualify and recuse Judge Weill.  Couldn't get the case thrown out so he went after the judge.  Judge Weill predictably denied the motion.    The cases are still awaiting trial.

The indictments, dockets, and ordering denying the dismissal are posted below.


Anonymous said...

Right, can't be lack of evidence, has to be malfeasance.

What is abnormal, from a legal standpoint, is Judge Weill's continued efforts to make the DA's office waste time and money by prosecuting cases that have no chance of resulting in conviction. The only person in the county that has prosecutorial discretion is Robert Smith, not Judge Weill. And if I recall, the citizens of Hinds County voted overwhelmingly, despite this site's best efforts, to give Smith that discretion.

Anonymous said...

Where are the "rather um, interesting" motions? Must have left them beside your sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

and...he will win the next election too...

Anonymous said...

One more reason why the City of Jackson has turned into a cesspool!

Anonymous said...

How is it editorial bias that a judge holds a DA accountable for the same rules as other members of the bar?

I just think you like your side deals kept in the dark, 1:48-2:00.

Follow your nose said...

I smell something in the woodshed

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a habitual offender in Jackson. If you read the newspapers or listen to the news you will see people who have been sentenced to life in prison for murder three separate times out of jail and committing crimes again.

Anonymous said...

@4:02 that's really cool that you say that, but you're full of it. There's no way someone convicted of murder in the state of Mississippi can be out of prison before the age of 65. (Except in the cases of juveniles after Miller vs. Alabama). But, by all means, keep spouting a bunch of BS. You don't know what you're talking about.

Perhaps you're conflating manslaughter and murder? That's certainly possible. But, if you are, at least say so and become aware that there's a difference between the two.

Or, just be an ignorant gasbag. Your choice.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what's worse, that idiot Robert Smith being re-elected, or you morons on here defending him. He isn't special. He should be held to the same standards as every other attorney and he doesn't get to decide what orders the Court enters, no matter their substance.

Robert Smith is not just part of the problem with Jackson, he is the BIGGEST part of the problem. Nothing will change while he is in office, and apparently people are too dumb to recognize blatant incompetence.

Burke said...

Right on, 4:16

Kingfish, I'm surprised that you let the 2:15 post get past the filter. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the new Jackson baby. Get rid of the flag. That should help.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree that the DA is one of the BIGGEST problems we have. JPD arrests and RSS drags his feet. Another of our BIGGEST problems is the lack of investigative reporting by the Clarion-Ledger. If more people were made aware of what goes on, then we might stand a chance of electing someone who is not part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

This drug dealer must have the some serious shit on the DA to get him to do this. Kinda like the Clintons must have had something similar on Biden to keep him from running for POTUS.

Anonymous said...

How long before Smith really embarrasses Weill? Weill has gotten into litigated fights with the DA, the Public Defenders Office and private defense counsel. After a while, isn't the problem "you"? If Weill refuses to sign Nolle Pros orders, something unheard of in the other 81 counties if for no other reason the Judge shouldn't know the facts of the case, Smith should set the matter for trial, seat a jury, call no witnesses and rest. Case dismissed, County hit for cost of jury, and same result. If Weill has some personal knowledge why the Nolle Pros shouldn't be granted, he should recuse himself from the case.

Anonymous said...

Ethics this, philosophy that.....blah blah blah blah.... Ideology here, Latin word there............
Just exactly how much money is being put into the back pockets of you lawyers by drug cartels and their mules?
Now, we can't really prove it, but we know what's up. It's been going on for too damn long. EVERYBODY KNOWS. And I'm an advocate for legal cannabis, but until then whiskey will do.
Secularism isn't ruining society, race isn't ruining society, conservatives aren't ruining society, neither are 'liberals'. Nanny state laws are.
I'd love to see the "war on drugs" tally of dough since its inception.

Anonymous said...

8:48... Are you suggesting judges just sign orders blindly without learning why they should sign? How hard would it be for the DA to include a simple statement in a motion to dismiss or just include the language in the nolle pros order?

That same DA who has the discretion to not prosecute, as you've suggested, also had the discretion to not present the case to a grand jury in the first place. Why is this so hard to explain? It doesn't have to be a novel. I would imagine a sentence or two would do.

What's really amazing is that the DA ignored the judge's order to provide the explanation. In my experience, if you don't agree with a judge's ruling, you appeal it - not ignore it.

Anonymous said...

Nothing changes in Jackbekistan as long as the Circuiteer jokes like Green and Kidd are only accountable to voters in specific districts. Both know where the bread gets buttered and both know who is hiding the jam.

Anonymous said...

Hey there legal scholar, no discretion to not present to the grand jury when a probable cause determination is made and a Defendant is bound over to the grand jury.

Anonymous said...

@8:48 - is that you Ogden??

Smith embarrassing Weill ... that's the most ridiculous thing in all of these ridiculous comments.

school board attorney said...

Could someone please explain to me how this is going to help improve the quality of classroom teaching? This seems to me to be a way to appear to be doing something on education but not really accomplishing anything at all.

Anonymous said...

8:05, there isn't many people who read the CL. I have posted several times about an article in the CL and no one believes it. Either people are not reading it or have a terrible memory.

Burke said...

9:41, keep the faith. Kingfish posts CL stories from time to time, which is appreciated. I will continue to subscribe, but their investigative reporting has a checkered history. It improved greatly awhile back, but that improvement seems to be fading back.

Speaking of which, this morning's CL has a story about a community meeting in South Jackson about the crime problem, and even the DA is demanding that the "judges" stop allowing perps to walk with low bail. I'm not holding my breath waiting for Judge Green, et al., to change their dangerously lenient ways.

Anonymous said...

No one has answered the bigger question. Why is the DA, a prosecutor defending a known drug dealer? It is a matter of public record that Butler is a known drug dealer I thought the DA and drug dealers were not supposed to be "there" for each other.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:17 am

Smith is not defending a drug dealer. He is basically telling the court that there is not enough evidence for a reasonable jury to convict him, therefore, it would be a waste of money and resources to take it to trial.

For those of you who do not work within the legal profession, or criminal justice system, this is very routine. Every DA's office in the country nolle prosequi cases on a regular basis. Weill's refusal is the only thing that makes this unique. Any one can go to Madison or Rankin Circuit Clerk today and find at least 5 motions for nolle prosequi in he last month that were routinely made and granted.

Anonymous said...

11:53 pm. They most certainly have the discretion to decline to prosecute and dismiss pre-indictment. And if they didn't have PC to begin with, why did they pursue an indictment and how did they get it?

Don't live in Hinds County and don't care what happens. I'm viewing this purely from an academic standpoint. I'm not buying all this "The DA's protecting drug dealers" conspiracy theory bs either. My guess for the real reason the judge has dug his heels in is that when KF or some other watchdog starts looking at pre trial dismissals, somebody is going to say, "Why is the judge letting these drug dealers go?" You and I would agree that is the DA's business who to prosecute, not the judges.

No doubt a nolle pros is routine. I ask again... Where is the harm in the DA explaining why he is dismissing?

Anonymous said...

(1) He might not have enough evidence to make his case. Acceptable

(2) He might be following in the footsteps of our former Mayor, the youngsters
swimming teacher, and only wants to arrest and/or prosecute those drug dealers that aren't his. Frankie put up billboards about roughly half of the major dealers in town - amazing which ones never got their mug up for all to see. From the rumors that have been floating around about the DA's office, my bet goes to these guys might be doing a little business with some of the folks in that part of the county complex.

Anonymous said...

I practice law in Judge Weil's Court. I have had him refuse to dismiss a case even though the State admitted they didn't have the evidence to go forward. A judge is supposed to "fair and impartial". If the State says they want to drop the case and obviously the defense doesn't oppose how in the world does a "neutral" judge not grant the motion? Also, all Nolle Pross orders give a boiler plate reason. Why does the "neutral" Judge need a drawn out explanation? It's none of his business.

Anonymous said...

A fair judge works both ways. If the judge realizes that a defendent is not getting adequate representation, the judge should deal with the situation and get proper defense provided. By the same token if the judge realizes that the state is not getting adequate prosecution the judge should make sure that the public is protected as well.

If the DA is not prosecuting - for whatever reason - then a 'fair judge' would take steps to insure that the accused gets a fair trial but that also the public gets its interests represented as well.

Anonymous said...

I work within the Hinds County criminal justice system and it is improper that Jeff Weill refuses to Nolle Pros cases. He requires an "explanation?" Why? The judge does not determine whether a case merits prosecution or not.

Having said that, why is Robert Smith personally invoved in this case? As everyone knows, he hasn't prosecuted or tried many cases over his 8 years. So why this one? Hmm.

Now he is fighting with Judge Green. I know many readers of this site are not fans of hers but in this instance she is correct. An attorney cannont slander the court in the media like that. He has obviously has no evidence for this. He saw the blame going his way from Lee Vance and he tried to use her as the scapegoat.

Doesn't all his erratic behavior seem odd? Judge Weill and now Judge Green?

Anonymous said...

8:02, it isn't slander and she isn't a scapegoat if it is true. If it isn't true she should take him to court. If it is true she will not take him to court. Want to make any bets?

Anonymous said...

8:02. Sounds like withdrawal symptoms to me. Wonder if that's why he is anxious to nolle pros this case. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Judge Greene coverage? She sets $5000 bonds for murders. $5,000 bond means a murder only has to put up $500 to get out of jail.

Anonymous said...

But those $5000 bonds are only going to those who feel bad. They are too sick to be put in jail even though they are in good enough shape to kill other people.

Anonymous said...

The judge is not there to bolster or help the State with their case, nor is he there to bolster, help, or damage the defendant's case. He is supposed to be the neutral person in the courtroom. He is to rule upon only evidence that is produced in the courtroom. If he wants to be the District Attorney or the attorney for the defendant, he should step down off the bench.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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