Thursday, July 7, 2016

D.A. asks court to throw out charges

The Hinds County District Attorney and Attorney General traded licks in Hinds County Circuit Court today.  District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith asked the court to dismiss all charges against him.  Mr. Smith was arrested two weeks ago on six charges of illegally helping criminal defendants.  (A.G. press release) The charges are misdemeanors.   Mr. Smith is represented by Tupelo attorney JIM Waaaaaaiiiiide.  Circuit Judge Jeff Weill barred Mr. Smith from handling cases before him after the arrest took place. 


Mr. Smith asked for copies of transcripts and documents filed in sealed proceedings last week.  His motion stated:

This Court has entered an Administrative Order of Immediate Temporary Disqualification of the Hinds County District Attorney attached hereto as Exhibit “A.” This Order references sealed proceedings in Cause Nos. 251-16-26, 251-16-355, and 251-16-543..... Smith believes that Cause Nos. 251-16-26, 251-16-355, and 251-16-543 include:

A. Sealed hearing before Judge Weill regarding an investigation of Smith by the Attorney General, which was held on or about April 4, 2016;
B. Sealed hearing before Judge Weill held on June 21, 2016, wherein the Court, on request of the Attorney General, suppressed subpoenas issued by the District Attorney; a
C. Sealed hearing before Special Master Amy Whitten held in January 2016 entitled, “In Re: Grand Jury Proceedings” and concerning quashing of subpoenas issued by Robert Smith...

Smith believes that the sealed transcripts contain evidence which is favorable to him...

Exhibit “A” also relies upon a sealed order of Senior Circuit Judge Tomie Green and a sealed report of Special Master Amy Whitten. See Exhibit “A,” p. 4. The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution require that Smith know “the nature of the charge” against him. Therefore, Smith is also entitled to a copy of the sealed Order of Judge Green and the sealed report of Special Master Amy Whitten.

Mr. Smith also filed a request for discover at the same time as the motion was filed.  It is posted below.

However, Mr. Smith is not finished fighting the prosecutors.  The D.A. filed a motion to dismiss today. It is posted below as well.  His motion states

1. Miss. Const. § 175 requires “indictment by a grand jury” in order to remove any public officer from office for “willful neglect of duty or misdemeanor in office.”
2. Smith has been charged by affidavit, not indictment, for violating Miss. Code Ann. § 97-11-3, which provides that a “district attorney shall,” among other things, not “advise, . . . a person charged with a crime. . . .” The penalty is being “removed form office, and rendered incapable thereafter of filling any office of profit or honor in this state.” Id.

 The Attorney General responded today to the motions for discovery and sealed documents last week but did not respond today to the motion to dismiss.  Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker argued in his response that the A.G. had no secret documents or transcripts and asked the court to give any such documents to the D.A. for his defense:

At this point in time, the undersigned counsel for the State of Mississippi have no knowledge or information regarding whether any transcripts of sealed proceedings in Hinds County Circuit Court presently exist regarding the three cases mentioned by the Defendant in his Motion....

To the extent any such transcripts exist, the State of Mississippi has no objection to the release of such transcripts to both the Defendant and the State of Mississippi, provided the Court determines that they relate to this case and are necessary and material to the Defendant’s preparation of his defense in this case....
 No hearing date has been set for the charges. 

Earlier posts
D.A. arrested.
D.A. fires back at A.G.
Weill disqualifies D.A.


23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jim Waide, huh? Interesting choice of counsel. Very effective employment attorney in North Miss. Not sure what, if any, ties he has to Hinds County, or how effective he'll be in circuit court down this way. Reputed for getting what he wants out of juries, many times by becoming highly emotional in the courtroom...to the point of crying. I suppose at its core this is an employment matter, but it's just not the type of case one would normally assoicate with Waide. His practice is more along the lines of sexual/racial/gender-based discrimination, wrongful termination, pay/wage issues, sexual harrassment in the workplace, etc. Will be interesting to see how he fares with this litigation.

Anonymous said...

"Charged by affidavit"

All this means is that a grand jury indictment is coming. No way this Motion to Dismiss is granted (although technically, it probably should be).

Anonymous said...

It would seem the matter may finally be decided in an open Courtroom where both sides can show their respective hands, not in Judge Jeff's chambers and maybe the truth will come out. The Judge had no right to stop a sitting D.A. from doing his job without conducting a hearing complete with facts and evidence. If the D.A. has abused his powers he can then be formally removed and the matter can be put to rest. But if the D.A. has evidence of wrongdoing in his district let him indict the culprits and try the matter. It's that plain. Both sides need to remember they are public servants not private contestants in some pissing contest.

Just a local awyer said...

Amazingly, Jim Hood spoke at the Stennis Institute luncheon today and none of our distinguished press corp asked him a question about this case.

Anonymous said...

Waide is a very accomplished trial attorney. He has probably argued in front of the US Supreme Court more than anyone else in the State. Whether that will translate to Hinds County seems doubtful at best.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Judge opens up those transcripts for all the world to see. I'd bet the farm RSS will wish he'd never requested to see them.

Anonymous said...

There is a problem with Justice if the same crime happens 10 miles apart and one defendant gets 7 years and 5 years suspended and the other gets 45 years.

SAME EXACT CRIME. ARMED CARJACKING

Ridgeland (Michael Guest)
Jackson (Shuler Smith)

Anonymous said...

Wait, Waide is white.........?

Anonymous said...

Jim Waide is one powerful attorney. Shuler Smith chose well.

Anonymous said...

Will we get to see him cry?

Anonymous said...

Why did he hire a white lawyer?

Anonymous said...

Waide does plenty of criminal defense.

Anonymous said...

This is all for bragging rights. The feds have their own investigation going. It will not be nut-cutting time until the feds move in or give up.

Anonymous said...

KF

What in the world is going on here?

What is the remedy when the DA works both sides? At least he should be disbarred. But the Bar won't act while a criminal investigation is ongoing I don't think.

Shouldn't the MS Supreme Court step in and remove RSS from office for misconduct?

Do we need to re-write the duties of DAs in general and specifically state that they cannot represent both sides?

This is a mess.

Kingfish said...

The D.A. picked a good lawyer to represent him.

Anonymous said...

@8:04. MSSC can't remove at this point; hasn't been convicted. Still innocent in this country until.....

Probably why Weill issued his order; effectively keep him out of at least some of his authority.

Statute already says that a DA can't represent both sides. Also, can't practice law (in either his criminal cases acting as a lawyer for his defendents, or in the Ben Allen case with his so-called 'victim')

Once the feds drop the next hammer on him, he should decide its time to step down, but don't hold your breath waiting on it. He needs to stay in office as long as he can to stay out of the pokey.

Anonymous said...

District attorneys have a unique place in the legal system. They can on occasion work on multiple charges against individuals who are in one instance a perpetrator and in another, a victim or a witness. Regular attorneys never deal with that dilemma and most D.A.'s surely would try to avoid it. But Smith is clearly saying his involvement with these Defendants involves a scenario where he is talking to them as witnesses or victims of prosecutorial mischief which he is investigating, and his efforts are being blocked by persons who have something to lose. If he's on to something, he probably should have gotten help from the feds. If he thinks the feds are involved he's bitten off more than he can chew. If he's just blowing smoke he might want to make a deal now before the sky falls in.

Please 'Splain... said...

2:47 opines, "No way this Motion to Dismiss is granted (although technically, it probably should be)."

You say it should be but won't be. I'm not interested in your take on the case, but please explain your comment.

Anonymous said...

Waide represented The former Bears head coach Billy Brewer, if my memory serves me?

Anonymous said...

This entire crock has nothing to do with the defendents RSS allegedly had contact with. This is a farce to force RSS to back off a certain white collar crime in this city and we all know who the defendant is.

Conspiracy To Have Him Back Off? said...

Sorry, 11:18; but, this thing is much, much larger than your conspiracy theory involving Ben Allen. In this scenario, he's smaller than a pimple on a gnat,s ass. And the FBI never heard of him.

Anonymous said...

That's right, 11:18. Obama's Dept. of Justice got involved in an investigation of RSS to intervene on behalf of Ben Allen. Makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

DOJ ..... what a joke!

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