Monday, October 24, 2016

Is the D.A. grandstanding or is he a victim?

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is trying to keep a transcripts where he repeatedly uses the "N" word out of court.  Mr. Smith included several transcripts of recordings between him and former Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson in a motion to exclude tapes and transcripts that he filed last week.  A grand jury indicted the District Attorney last month for three counts of improperly helping criminal defendants.  However, the A.G. accused the D.A. of grandstanding with the transcripts. 

A hearing will be held on this motion and several others tomorrow in State v. Robert Shuler Smith.  Special Circuit Judge Larry Roberts will also rule on the Attorney General's request to disqualify attorney Jim Wade from representing Mr. Smith.

Former Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson pleaded guilty this year to federal charges of accepting bribes in exchange for granting favorable treatment to criminal defendants.  Mr. Johnson agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and wore a wire during several conversations with the District Attorney.  However, attorney Tom Fortner argued on behalf of Mr. Smith that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst agreed several years ago to notify Mr. Smith if he was the target of an investigation.  Mr. Fortner did not submit a copy of any such written agreement.

A Hinds County grand jury indicted Christopher Butler twice in 2012 for possessing more than one kilo of marijuana.  District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith tried to drop the charges but Circuit Judge Jeff Weill would not allow him to do so unless he filed a motion in writing and stated his reasons for the request.  Mr. Smith then asked Judge Weill to recuse himself but the jurist refused.  Mr. Smith later attempted to subpoena Judge Weill before a grand jury.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General arrested Mr. Butler for several charges of consumer fraud.  Attorney General lawyers Patrick Beasley and Shaun Yurkturan represented the A.G.  County Court Judge Melvin Priester, Sr. attempted to hold a preliminary hearing for Mr. Butler on March 3.  However, the D.A. interrupted the hearing.  Judge Priester shut it down after Mr. Smith made a rather colorful presentation to the court and held the hearing at later date.  Mr. Butler is still held at an undisclosed location in Rankin County on a $500,000 bond.  Both Mr. Beasley and Mr. Yurkturan worked for Mr. Smith as Assistant District Attorneys several years ago.  Attorney Sanford Knott represented Mr. Butler at the hearing.  The D.A. was indicted for allegedly helping Mr. Butler in violation of the law since he was a criminal defendant.  Mr. Smith accuses MBN agents of framing Christopher Butler.

That was the introduction, now for the good stuff.

*The meeting between Mr. Smith and Mr. Johnson starts off with the two prosecutors discussing the preliminary hearing.  They then discuss the hiring of Tupelo Attorney JIM Waaaaaaaaaaaade to represent Mr. Butler (p.7)

MR. SMITH: So we got Jim Wade 
MR. SMITH: · -- who is like the best mother fucking attorney in the US. You know -- you know who
Jim Wade, right?
MR. JOHNSON: Yeah. Yeah, I remember you telling me about him.
MR. SMITH:  Oh, my God.  Oh, my God that guy so good. But he came down here straight from New Orleans when I called him, and got the --  shit, I had -- Jamie was in there. I thought Jamie was going t show him the video, and, hell, by the time he got finished explaining that shit, Jim was like, damn, Robert, don't worry about it....
*Attorney John Reeves than enters the picture as Mr. Smith (p.8) apparently was going to appoint him as a special prosecutor:

MR. SMITH: Because John Reeves, I had a real long, long, long talk with him about -- about being 100 on this damn thing. He's going to be the special prosecutor on this.
MR. SMITH: So that was the only thing that Walter suggested, that I have a special prosecutor --
MR. JOHNSON:  Special prosecutor.

 *Mr. Johnson asked the D.A. what "the big picture" was regarding the "Butler cases".  The D.A. said he was going after the judge:

MR. SMITH: I'm going to get Weill next. See, I -- let me show you what I talking about.  But, see, this whole system, like I said, they've been just fucking over and make -- you know, like like we just fucking weak and this and that. Fuck that, no, no, no, no, no, huh-huh, huh-huh. 

*Mr. Smith couldn't help but use the N word but it must be pointed out that his use of it ended in an "er" and not an "a".  Clearly the District Attorney has some work to do in learning how to use that word properly.  Mr. Smith was discussing his dad's handling of his rental properties (p.12):

MR. SMITH:  Yeah.  Yeah.  so· -- so, you kn ow, it might have been somebody up there -- some nigger named "Cap." See, I haven't been around to check them out until recently.  And  so -- but the    my dad would  would not sale. 

*Mr. Smith then moved on to threatening to charge the feds with intimidating a witness.  The discussion begins with the D.A. accusing the Sheriff and his employees of harassing Butler in jail:

MR. SMITH: they -- boy, Lord, I can't wait.  But someone came to his cell. I think he said around -- of course it was Saturday night, but that would be Sunday morning around 2:30 in the morning, and they said face the wall.  He was like, oh, lord, what the hell? Faced the wall.  And they went into his cell and started grabbing his paperwork and shit trying to --
MR. JOHNSON:  Who went in?
MR. SMITH: Well, see, we don't know yet.
MR. JOHNSON:  We don't know yet, okay.
MR. SMITH: We fixing to find out. So he said they said, oh, you the one that's been causing all these problems, right?
Right. So then they leave . Well, when his family comes to me, I go over to the sheriff's department, and they all huddled up in there in Victor's office. And then they come out with different excuses; he on lockdown.  He on -- I said,
well, I'll wait.  And so after a while, I said what what I need to do is issue these subpoenas, so the video. of the visit, the visitation records, and I asked for a whole bunch of shit.  So I'm going to find out who that is, and I don't give a fuck who it is. It could be mother fucking fed, whatever, I'm going to charge those mother fuckers with intimidating a witness as well so --
MR. JOHNSON:  So they've got his bond set at $500,000?
MR. SMITH: Yeah, he's telling the truth.
MR. JOHNSON:  So, ultimately, you think this will free Butler?
MR. SMITH: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.  Oh, we going to get him free now between me and Wade and all that and then Dennis is doing his thing on the other one. (KF note: Dennis is Dennis Sweet)

Mr. Smith then spent several pages grousing about his former prosecutors and argued they were trying to use the Butler case to get at him.

The Attorney General responded and said that Mr. Smith was merely trying his case in public in violation of several rules of professional conduct.  The response states that the transcripts were never actually submitted to the court as evidence and that the D.A. had them served on the Clarion-Ledger's lawyer even though the newspaper is not a party to the case.

Note: Part 2 of the transcript will be posted tonight. 

There is no smoking gun in this recording.  It is interesting that the D.A. was going to sic attorney John Reeves as a criminal prosecutor on several of his opponents.  It is also interesting that he was discussing going after a sitting judge.

So if the A.G. is to be believed, is the D.A. trying to make sure everyone knows he uses the "N" word?

P.1: Transcript
P.45: Motion to exclude
P. 51: Response to Motion to exclude
P.55: Fortner letter
P.56: Rest of file, including indictment.


Anonymous said...

One hearsay statement mentioning McBride.

Anonymous said...

Looks like some damn good lawyering to me. Time will tell. Stay on the fence KF.

Jacks Wild said...

I love the word 'meanwhile'. It brings such angst and drama to any story.

Meanwhile: This clown, Smith, sits up nights dreaming up stupid-shit cards to play, pretending they're all hole-cards.

Then he giggles at himself and takes another hit of whatever it is.

Anonymous said...

I got a real simple question. What the hell difference is it if the word ends in an "er" or an "a"?

Anonymous said...

Lordy, I've never heard worse language from a 'professional'... or such poor grammar.

Anonymous said...

So Mike Hurst was going to inform D.A. Smith if he was under investigation? Good thing he resigned to run for A.G. and was not able to let him know. And damn glad he didn't get elected or there may never have been an AG's investigation/indictment of Smith.

Anonymous said...

Ft his should prove once and for all that RSS is a slimy thug.

Anonymous said...

6:51, got news for you. Most "professionals" talk that way when they think no one is listening. Really do not have to be "professionals".

Anonymous said...

I was talking to someone who had previously argued that n---er and n---a were two completely different words...that one was a slur and the other was a street greeting. I saw a person with a shirt that had the word "hata" on it, so I asked him the difference between "hata" and "hater" and he said they were the same, just different pronunciations. Then I brought up his argument on the same variations on a word starting with N.

He told me to shut the f--k up.

Anonymous said...

8:35, it is according to who says either word. If you are black you are allowed to say either word. If you are white you are not allowed to even think about either word.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine inmate Butler, laying in his jail bunk wondering what RSS is getting him for Christmas!

Anonymous said...

It is just not proper.

Anonymous said...

Exhibit A page 25 lines 10-25 and page 26 lines 1-6

Anonymous said...

10:15 - And we're all about 'proper', right?

I think 'proper' is a synonym for 'politically correct'.

Who gives a rat's ass about 'proper'?

Anonymous said...

I've heard professionals curse, but it's usually better directed , more creative and more coherent.
There are also some words they avoid and two are in this transcript.

Anonymous said...


No, most professionals worth their salt have a good enough vocabulary to not have to rely 'm'er f'er' to get a point across. I have practiced law for 30 years and never heard speech this foul in any of the hundreds of attys offices I have been in. I am guessing though, that you use that type of language...

Kingfish said...

_________, please.

Cardinal Cushion said...

A lawyer, who, in thirty years, has never heard the conjoined phrase mother-fucker in an attorney's office must be working at the Vatican. What bull-shit!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like locker room talk

Anonymous said...

Cardinal: I have heard bad language of course but not like that. And I said 'most' professionals.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal, any attorney who says this kind of stuff when he's at risk of being recorded is an idiot. What was it about the feds and state involvement that was missed?
Those partners of yours who have been practicing more than 30 years may have overlooked some bad language if you have made them enough money, but I suspect they don't respect you as much as they would if you had better control of your emotions.
The best lawyers don't need to use bad language to make it clear that they are angry and going to beat you where it hurts the most...your wallet or your freedom.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal, along with what has already been pointed out - its not the use of a word, or words, but the entire conversation being laced with every third or fourth word being 'colorful'. These transcripts cover a fairly long timeframe, and its hard to keep up with the subject being discussed due to the complete interlacing of the conversation with the 'locker room talk'.

I've been in plenty of conversations where there was a m/f thrown around, or some other foul language, but nothing to compare to our esteemed DA.

Anonymous said...

7:04, don't think you read that in the complete context, or else you haven't been paying attention - it didn't apply to any potential investigation, just one that had been in process and resolved. Also understand the source of your 'quote' - it represents one side of a legal investigation resolution.

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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.

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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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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.

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