Tuesday, December 27, 2016

D.A.'s trial resumes

The trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith resumes today.  Below is a summary of what took place last week. Judge for yourself who is ahead right now.  Read Anna Wolfe's live tweets from the courtroom today as well.

Day 2

The Attorney General drops the indictment against Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride.  Speculation runs rampant over whether McBride flipped or the Attorney General dismissed a weak case.  The jury composition is twelve black and two white jurors.  Article

Day 3

Opening arguments were made but the courtroom heated up a little bit more as disgraced former Assistant Attorney Ivon Johnson took the stand for the prosecution.  Johnson pleaded guilty in federal court this year to accepting bribes in exchange for giving favorable treatment to suspects.  The prosecution presented text messages between Johnson and Smith that showed the D.A. stating "I don't give a damn about there not being charges somewhere" in reference to Smith's attempt to indict Circuit Judge Jeff Weill and two A.G. prosecutors over the Christopher Butler case. 

Butler is a twice-convicted drug dealer.  He was indicted again for possession of marijuana to distribute.  The D.A. attempted to drop the case but Judge Weill refused to let him do so.  Smith argues that Butler was framed by MBN agents.  The two A.G. prosecutors were prosecuting Butler on consumer fraud charges in a separate case. 

Anna Wolfe reported in the Clarion-Ledger:

In a secret recording provided to the FBI, Smith is heard talking to Ivon Johnson, a former assistant in Smith's office, about Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Weill. Smith said: "The more he do, the worse it gets for him. The more he hold on, the worse it gets."

"Mr. Smith was discussing different legal tactics to take against various people," Johnson said. "Judge Weill was one of them, so I anticipate what he meant was the longer he keeps denying me from getting rid of this case, the more I'm going to go forward and pushing it."...
 Texts between Johnson and Smith show the district attorney had planned to take Weill, presiding over Butler's case, and the two assistant attorneys general prosecuting Butler's fraud case, Shaun Yurtkuran and Patrick Beasley, to the grand jury on June 22. He was arrested that morning before he could present his case. Article.
 An FBI agent also testified that there is a current FBI investigation into the Johnson's bribery scheme.

Day 4

 The trial became a briar patch as the case became convoluted with more weeds, vines, and offshoots that became frustrating at times for observers.  A statement by Judge Larry Roberts captured the sentiment of the day:

“We’ve got the attorney general accusing the D.A. of effectively obstructing justice and we’ve got the D.A. accusing the attorney general of obstructing justice,” the special judge presiding over the case, Judge Larry Roberts, said Wednesday. “I guess the jury is going to have to resolve that dilemma in their verdict."
  Read about it here in this article.  Ms. Wolfe also posted some rather interesting tweets:

There have been plea negotiations in RSS's case, but at this point, will continue Tuesday

 Butler's phone was seized? Yes. Did you look at it; is there correspondence w/ RSS? I didn't get that cell phone, the FBI has it.

 McDivitt: I've never seen a DA, ADA trying to free someone who is not their client. My understanding is their job is to send people to jail

 Wasks McDivitt to describe how/why RSS interrupted previously referenced hearing.M:Transcripts don't show yelling, gestures, getting up/down

 McDivitt said he doesn't remember who gave explicit orders to arrest RSS, there were "lots of attorneys involved."

 Literally no one who has seen the video, including , saw the "planting" RSS alleges

 RSS sent this text to Waide June 7th, indicating he may not have seen video until years after he claimed it proved framing

 Knott: The attorney general told Butler if he were able to provide any information about Smith's wrongdoing, there would be "considerations

 Knott: RSS had my permission to visit Butler as long as he did not discuss the case in which I represented him (white collar)

 Butler is being held in the Jackson detention center right downtown, his mother Edia told me earlier this week

 Butler's current representation, AG says: Kevin Rundlett on drug charges, Damon Stevenson on fraud/embezzlement

 Johnson only admits to taking $500 of the $15k involved in the scheme. Who took $14,500?

 The trial continues today.  Ms. Wolfe is Tweeting away from the courtroom.  Kinds of reminds one of how fights were broadcast over the wire before there was radio.  

Kingfish note: The testimony and evidence that the D.A. was attempting to indict a judge because he couldn't get his way on a case is very troubling.   One must ask if it is grounds for action by the Bar.  This is, as stated earlier, a convoluted case and it will be interesting to see if prosecutors can keep the jury from getting lost in the weeds.  The Johnson testimony didn't provide any direct evidence of the D.A. accepting bribes for anything.  There is still more prosecution testimony and the defense gets to present its side.  The prosecution is still presenting its case so it is not even halftime in this ballgame


Anonymous said...

Action by the Bar? That's a moot question at this point. Following this trial leaves one scratching one's head. If the media can't figure out what the state's alleging, the jury is probably just as confused. The State is on course to cannonize RSS if it doesn't get a conviction, which, after a week of evidence, is looking less and less likely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that opinion, 11:35. Good thing you're not in the legal profession. Or if you are, good thing you're a first year student.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm a prosecutor with 13 years of trial experience.

Anonymous said...

11:35 Once RSS is canonized, will he submit his list of whose been naughty and nice?

Anonymous said...

4:42. That lying POS is TOAST, racist jury or not.

Anonymous said...

RSS walks.

Anonymous said...

After today... Acquittal is a slam dunk!!! 6 of the 12 jurors out and out turned their back on the witness box half way through the state's witness testimony after lunch. The second after lunch witness was worse that the first and Beasley went bonkers on Waide's cross... Bad day for the AG... Big day for RSS

Anonymous said...

Givem hell @7:58 LB. Your entire life is reduced to that. Too funny.

Anonymous said...

7:58 and 8:05. The Feds are next. He is toast.

Anonymous said...

Someone might want to remind 3:57 that the jurors ( or should I say, them little people) are laypersons, not legal professionals. So, 11:35 is right! The AG's Office is all over the place! What ground did they expect to gain by calling the defendant's attorney to testify for the State????!!!!???? Did they really think he would offer anything that would strengthen their case??? Then, they keep trying to convince the jury that there's no animosity between them and the DA's Office...what in the world are they thinking!!!!???? Both sides clearly hate each other's guts.
RSS and McBride were indicted out of a spirit of vengeance! Nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

It's a difference of cultures.

RSS thinks he can operate in a middle ground between prosecutor and defense lawyer.

His own verbiage should serve to hang him....calling a criminal defendant his "client" is as close to the truth that this guy can get.

Anonymous said...

Breathe 8:29. Breathe. Get. A. Life. Quickly. As. It. Will. Run. Out. Soon. Due. To. Old. Age.

Anonymous said...

Hood looks like an ass clown. I can see Tate's campaign commercials about this: malicious prosecution (McBride), inept prosecutors (Smith). Hood has self destructed his gubernatorial bid. The only ones celebrating will be his underpaid staff who he never goes to bat for but gives the same tired sorry no raises this year speech every Christmas

Anonymous said...

Today should be a doozie.

Show Me The Money.. said...

12:01 - You don't know this, but Hood is simply an agency head when it comes to pay raises. He doesn't get to decide to 'hand out raises'.

Anonymous said...

I practiced before Judge Roberts for many years when he was a Circuit Court Judge. Very patient and very fair. The picture of his head kicked back and eyes rolling up says it all to me. I would love to know what was said and by whom right before this picture was snapped. I've argued losing positions before and have seen this expression.....right before my case sank like a boat without a drain plug.

Anonymous said...

Agency heads don't work to secure pay increases for their employees? I rep'd an agency and we would be at the legislature every other year lobbying for pay increase.

Anonymous said...

RSS feeds off the majority voters in Hinds County. He will not be convicted e crap. The thugs, public defenders, and defense attorneys love him. I have known Robert for years and he can't poor piss out of a boot, pass a drug test or tell the truth.
If he were to plead guilty, there would be a screw up somehow.

Only if this had occurred in another jurisdiction would he be convicted. However, he would not have stood a chance of getting elected elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, 9:47. The criminals who rule Jackson want him to stay. Just read the illiterate posts on FB by people who support him. Dumber than rocks.

Show Me The Money.. said...

9:13; What seems to elude you is that Hood is the head of a State Agency and his employees are simply state employees and their raises (or typically lack thereof) are under the purview of the State Personnel Board, which acts on legislative handouts.

Agency Heads don't lobby the legislature for individual agency pay increases, nor does the legislature approve them in that fashion.

What agency did you 'rep' and tell us of your success.

Romilda Gareth said...


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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).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

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.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

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.

Note: Security provided by INS