Hinds County District Attorney Jamie McBride filed a motion to quash the indictment against him. A Hinds County grand jury indicted Mr. McBride earlier this month for two counts of conspiring with District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and former Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson to help criminal defendants. Attorney Dale Danks represents Mr. McBride.
Mr. McBride argues that the indictment is invalid because Attorney General Jim Hood has no authority to prosecute the case or indict someone for this charge without the District Attorney's consent. The motion stated:
Co-Defendant, Jamie K. McBride, was indicted in the within Cause by a special grand jury called solely at the instance of the Mississippi Attorney General. All of the witnesses to the grand jury were subpoenaed at the instance of the Mississippi Attorney General and the Hinds County District Attorney took no part in calling such special grand jury nor presented any evidence before said grand jury. ...
No statutory authority exists which grants the Mississippi Attorney General the power to specially call a grand jury session. The State Grand Jury Act, §13-7-1 et seq. Miss Code Ann. specifically sets forth that the Attorney General may enter the grand jury while it is in session and assist the district attorney in the discharge of his duties. The statutes do not provide that the Mississippi Attorney General may have a grand jury empaneled. If the legislature had intended for the Mississippi Attorney General to be empowered to call a special grand jury, it would have so stated. To interpret these statutes otherwise would be contradictory to their legislative intent and impermissibly broaden the powers of the Mississippi Attorney General.....The question indictment itself is challenged:
Counts One and Two, of the Indictment in the within Cause, fail to charge a necessary element of the crime of hindering prosecution and as a consequence thereof are not legally sufficient and as such must be quashed. Both Count One and Two of the Indictment allege that Co-Defendant, Jamie McBride, "on or about and between the dates of December 1, 2015 and June 22, 2016 did then and there knowingly, unlawfully and feloniously, without authority of law, conspire with Ivon Johnson and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to commit the crime of Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree in violation of §97-9-105 of the Mississippi Code, 1972, as amended, (Exhibit F) by conspiring to hinder the prosecution, conviction and punishment of Christopher Butler in Hinds County Cause Numbers . . .
Mr. McBridge charges that the indictment never alleges that he gave criminal assistance to Christopher Butler or anyone else. It does not city any specific actions he took to help criminal defendants. The indictment states that Mr. McBride helped criminal defendant Christopher Butler in two cases. However, Mr. Butler was not charged with any crime in one of those cases. Thus it would be impossible for the prosecutor to assist Mr. Butler as a defendant.
As the District Attorney said, stay tuned.