Thursday, December 7, 2023

Courthouse Brawl!


  - Synopsis of case 

- Today's Trial 

- Courthouse brawl

 All hell broke loose in the Hinds County Courthouse this morning as the families of the missing Latasha Crump Coleman and her husband Derrick Coleman brawled after a hearing. When it was all said and done, Derrick Coleman and five family members went to jail.

Synopsis of Case

Latasha Coleman filed domestic and malicious mischief charges against her husband on July 17, 2022.  A Jackson municipal court issued a no-contact order against him the next day.  Derrick went to her home on July 21 and kicked in the door, violating the no-contact order.  Latasha filed more charges against her husband on July 22.  

Jackson Municipal Court Judge Jeffrey Reynolds ruled on July 25,2022 that Derrick was guilty of violating a no-contact order "related to several domestic violence charges" filed by Latasha.  The Court said Derrick was an "extreme danger to the victim" and set his cost bond at $2,500 and appearance bond at $250,000 (KF: Remember July 25, 2022.  That date will be very important.)

Derrick's attorney, Damon Stevenson, appealed to Hinds County Court in August 2022 and asked Judge Johnny McDaniels to reduce the bond in an emergency motion filed a week later.  

Judge McDaniels agreed with the lawyer and reduced the appearance bond to $50,000 while leaving the cost bond in place in August 2022.  He ordered Derrick to wear a GPS monitor for 270 days or "until the appeal is resolved" and kept the no-contact order in place. Derrick never got a GPS monitor as the responsibility for obtaining the device was - wait for it - left to the defendant.  

Latasha disappeared on July 18, 2023.  Latasha has not been seen since July 18.  The police have asked the public for assistance in finding Derrick's wife.

No action took place in the case until Jackson prosecutors filed an emergency motion to revoke his bond on September 14, 2023.   Hinds County Court Judge Johnny McDaniels held a hearing on September 29 and revoked his bond after determining he never obtained a GPS monitor.  Earlier post and video of hearing.

Coleman's trial for violating the no-contact order began on November 29 in Judge McDaniels' courtroom.  Jackson prosecutor Bridgette Morgan submitted an ore tens motion to dismiss Coleman's appeal, arguing he never paid the $50,000 appearance bond set by the municipal court.  Derrick's lawyer, Catouche Body, argued the appeal was valid as the city waited 15 months to file such a motion, thus waiving its right to contest the appeal. He said his client paid the bond at the Circuit Clerk's office in Raymond.  

He called the city's delay in objecting to the appeal "problematic", stating it should have been filed within 30 days of the notice of appeal while calling the ore tens motion "untimely."   Judge McDaniels postponed the trial to today after the prosecution and defense admitted they had video evidence that was not submitted to opposing counsel even though it would be used in court.  


Today's Trial

Morgan submitted a motion for reconsideration to dismiss the appeal late yesterday afternoon. The prosecutor argued Rule 29.1 of the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure require the defendant to "simultaneously" file "both a cost bond and appearance bond" with the Circuit Clerk.  The motion accuses Coleman of misleading the Court as he testified he "erroneously filed the $50,000 cost bond in the Hinds County Clerk's office in Raymond."  However, the clerk never received the bond. 

Morgan stated there is no deadline for challenging an appeal to County Court.  Judge McDaniels scheduled the hearing to start at 9:00, he finally strolled into the courtroom at 9:45.  The Court asked if both sides completed discovery.  Prosecution and defense replied discovery took place to their satisfaction.  The Court took note the defense filed several motions to suppress evidence.

The resumed with a discussion of Morgan's motion of reconsideration.  Everyone huddled at the bench for a moment before Judge McDaniels retreated to his chambers with the lawyers in tow to review the motions.  

Judge McDaniels returned to the courtroom ten minutes later and said he needed to hear the motion for reconsideration.  Morgan opened by repeating the arguments made in her motion.  Body said he was not "expecting to be defending against the motion this morning.  The bond was posted on August 11, 2022 somewhere on behalf of Derrick.  Judge McDaniels said the bond documents should be properly filed with the Circuit Clerk. However, Body said he had not an "opportunity to find out" if they were indeed properly submitted to the Cicruit Clerk.  "I feel like me and my client are being ambushed.  The motion was filed late yesterday and I haven't had time to run those things down and properly present them to the Court," said the defense lawyer.

Body tried to show the Court something that was on his phone but Morgan objected, claiming the information was not properly authenticated.  

Judge McDaniels reminded all the Court mentioned last week the prosecution did not challenge the appeal until 15 months after it was filed.  "But this Court is very much aware of the fact that jurisdiction can never be waived and the court saw to address that issue to the extent of the evidence presented to the court at that time," said the judge.  

The judge stated he wanted to resolve the case through testimony and presentation of evidence, thus determining whether the no-contact order was violated. 

However, the Court said "the information and documentation on file in this matter does not sufficiently show the defendant properly submitted them to this court."

Judge McDaniels dismissed the appeal without prejudice as he granted the motion. The case is remanded to the Jackson Municipal Court for execution of its judgment as it "relates to the six month sentenced proposed by the lower court."  

Deputies shackled Derrick and took him back to jail. 


Courthouse Brawl

The case might have been over but the drama was just beginning as a fight took place in the courthouse lobby by the front doors.  As luck would have it, none other than Hinds County District 2 Supervisor David L. Archie was holding a press conference on the courthouse steps, effectively blocking anyone from leaving the building.  

Although there were eight deputies in the courtroom last week, only two were present in the courtroom today although three JPD officers appeared near the end of the trial.  

A member of Latasha Coleman's family said a deputy took them to the front doors but they were unable to leave due to the press conference taking place on the steps.  As they stood waiting to leave, Derrick Coleman's family entered the area.  

One family is upset because its loved one disappeared and is suspected to be dead.  The other family is upset because their loved one is going to jail for at least four months.  As there was minimal law enforcement present, it was a perfect recipe for disaster and a disaster it was.  

Tempers flared, words were exchanged, and fists flew as a full-scaled brawl broke out in the Hinds County Courthouse and spilled over onto the courthouse steps in front of Mr. Archie's press conference (I know, right?).


The brawl raged for several minutes until deputies and police officers got both groups under control. They arrested five individuals and charged with disorderly conduct.



Anonymous said...

I was there. I had Justice Court this morning on the 3rd floor. I cam down the stairs right into that dumpster fire.

Doubtful in Durant said...

Video or it didn't happen. Sideways video from local phone will be fine.

Anonymous said...

There is video because it did happen. And as usual, Ross Adams was in the middle of it...holding his phone up to catch video. He just grates on my nerves.

Geeze said...


Anonymous said...

Why is David Archie playing referee?

Anonymous said...

@4:15 PM - Because there were cameras.

Anonymous said...

Brawling in the presence of a bunch of cops. There's dumb, and then there's Hinds County dumb. You can't fix stupid.

Anonymous said...

"Brawling in the presence of a bunch of cops. There's dumb, and then there's Hinds County dumb. You can't fix stupid."

Oh, please. If possibility of "the presence" of a single cop even in the general vicinity would stop such things, there would be no crime anywhere. It is not a fair accusation that only Hinds County folks are idiots, or in this case, caught up in a highly emotional situation. That's a worldwide problem.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people run their mouths to the point where people decide the beatdown won't be delayed.

Anonymous said...

What kind phone dat? My footage don’t look that good.

Anonymous said...

David Archie, the voice of reason in Hinds County. Y’all will regret booting him out of office, just like you regret booting McQuirter out. It’s just going to get worse. And worse. And worse.

Anonymous said...

It would been funny if someone would have knocked out the fat head David L Archie Bonkers.

Anonymous said...

Poor ass Court security. Nobody including David Archie should be allowed to block the Courthouse entrance or exit especially during business hours. From previous events all should have been on notice that this was a potentially dangerous situation and these families should remain separated. They are just lucky no one was seriously injured or killed.

Anonymous said...

That group of light weight attorneys couldn’t win a Jr. High Debate match.

Anonymous said...

@7:46 PM - Hook, line, and sinker.

Anonymous said...

I agree that nobody should block the entrance or exit. From reading Kingfish's post, the family of the missing person was leaving first. Afterwards the family of the husband was to leave. This got screwed up because of that blocked entrance. It was a bad situation. You just can't put opposing families who are in this situation together without emotions taking over.

To anyone who thinks this is because its Hinds County, grow up. Has nothing to do with location. Family of a missing person in a room with family of possible killer...can happen anywhere and its a bad situation.

Anonymous said...

If I'm that woman's father I got 4 months to figure out the best way to kidnap and kill that guy.

Anonymous said...

ID be mad too if that scum had disappeared my loved one with no consequences after multiple no contact orders. Which we know don’t work.

Anonymous said...

Very poor practice on the part of Sheriff's Office or Police Department, whichever has first-line obligation to ensure the safety of the people in this venue.

In some jurisdictions these things are as automatic as a reaction-plan to a fire. You know in advance who does what, which family exits where and when, which officers are assigned to which family, etc.

Anonymous said...

Look at Ross Adams all up in the middle of it. Too bad big momma didn't fall on him.

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