Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Carly Gregg Goes Back to Court

Carly Gregg tried to get her million dollar bond lowered and close the courtroom today but Rankin County Court Judge David Morrow postponed the hearing to June 4 after her lawyer, Caleb Coleman, failed to follow notice requirements for filing such motions.  

Gregg & Attorney Caleb Coleman

Rankin County deputies arrested Gregg on March 19 and charged her with capital murder in the death of her mother, Ashley Smiley, and attempted murder for allegedly shooting her step-father, Heath Smiley, in the shoulder.  The alleged shootings took place at the Smiley home on Ashton Way in the Farmington Station subdivision in Rankin County.   

Rankin County Court Judge David Morrow set Gregg's bond at $1 million and bound her over to the grand jury at her preliminary hearing last month. However, since Gregg is a minor, the Court must review her detention every thirty days.  Hence, today's hearing.  

Judge Morrow opened the hearing by asking Coleman if he reviewed the mental evaluation orders.  The attorney said he had not reviewed the orders but said his expert psychiatrist could not evaluate Gregg until she was released from jail.  

Judge Morrow replied "That's not going to be necessarily true" as he informed the barrister that his client could either be evaluated at the jail or she could be transported (with appropriate security and court staff) to the doctor's office.   "Her detention or incarceration will not prevent her from being evaluated," decreed Judge Morrow. However, the judge was not through in chastising Gregg's lawyer. 

Judge Morrow ruled on April 18:

 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, within ten (10) business days of the entry of this Order, defense counsel shall file a certificate of compliance with the Court documenting that the available medical and criminal history records were submitted to the examining mental health expert in accordance with MRCrP 12.2(e).

 Coleman apparently did not comply with the certificate requirement nor did he provide said records to Whitfield.  "Is there any reason you can't get this to me in the next 24 hours?" asked the judge.  A stuttering Coleman replied he would have to ask "Carly's medical examiners."  Judge Morrow warned the attorney "My patience is wearing a little thin" as he pointed out the "ten business days" requirement had expired.  The Court said while Gregg's lawyers had the right to have their own mental evaluation, the state had the same right as well and it had to protect those rights.  Judge Morrow said he expected compliance within a week or else he would hold a "show cause" hearing. 

After dealing with the issue of mental evaluations, the Court took up Gregg's motions to reduce her bond and exclude the media and public.       

Coleman's motion to reduce bond argued it should be lowered to a "reasonable" unsecured amount because: 

* Gregg has a clean record and is not a flight risk.  She is an honor student at Northwest Rankin High School and scored a 30 on the ACT when she was 13 years old. 

* She is (just-turned) 15 years old and has not been indicted.  

* Dr. James O'Brien has been retained to conduct a psychiatric evaluation on Gregg.  However, he can not conduct the evaluation in the jail.   

Coleman never got to make those arguments in court today because he filed the motion to reduce bond Friday and the motion to exclude yesterday.  The timing of the filings was found to be a little more than deficient as Judge Morrow schooled the attorney on basic rules of criminal procedure. 

The Court held the motions did not comply with Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure 1.3(d). The rule states: 

A written motion, other than one which may be heard ex parte, and notice of the hearing thereof, shall be served not later than five (5) days before the time fixed for the hearing, unless a different period is fixed by these Rules or by order of the court.

Days are defined as "business days" and shall not include the day the motion was filed. 

"The rules of criminal procedure have not been followed," said Judge Morrow.  He asked prosecutor Ryan Berry if he wished to waive the notice requirement.  The Assistant District Attorney refused to waive the notice requirement for the motion to reduce bond and deferred to the Court on the motion to exclude the media and public.  

Judge Morrow listens

Judge Morrow discussed the motion to exclude before ruling on the motions.   Gregg's motion claims allowing medical testimony in open court would violate her HIPAA rights (Thought that only applied to employers).  A family member is also expected to provide highly emotional testimony. Gregg's lawyer called the crimes a "family tragedy" and said they "should not be fodder for the public's entertainment." 

 "I believe the public has the right to know, this is a public forum," said Judge Morrow.  The Court ruled it would hold a hearing on the two motions on June 4 and give the media time to object.  Judge Morrow warned Coleman "the default position of the state Supreme Court is to favor the media and the public.  That is the default position.  The momentum begins against you so you will need to make a compelling argument." 

Synopsis of Case

Rankin County deputies arrested Carly Gregg on March 19 and charged her with murder and attempted murder.  RSCO Investigator Zachary Cotton testified at her preliminary hearing that RCSO dispatch received a call on March 19 from a man who was frantic.  The caller said "their child had shot at them, and shot them in the neck."  Deputies went to the scene and found the deceased Ashley Smiley in a bedroom and found a wounded Heath Smiley.  Heath identified Gregg as the shooter.  Gregg had fled the scene.

Deputies found her half a mile away.  They recovered the murder weapon.  

Gregg is a very intelligent child. She earned a 30 on the ACT when she was 13 years old and skipped fourth grade.  

Cotton said there was some video footage of the deadly events that took place that afternoon.  An exterior camera in the garage showed Gregg and her mother arriving home at approximately 4 that afternoon.  The camera and the interior camera in the kitchen showed Gregg taking the dogs outside while Ashley went to her daughter's bedroom.   There were no other cameras in the house.  Ashley "took some items out of Carly's room" as Carly came back inside and noticed her mother was in her bedroom.   

The investigator said Gregg went to her mother's bedroom, came out with her hands behind her back as she concealed an object, and went to her bedroom where her mother was.  "You hear a gunshot, a scream, and then two more gunshots," said Cotton.   Ashley was shot twice in the side of the face and once underneath her chin.  Deputies recovered all three bullets. 

Camera footage showed Gregg returning to the kitchen.  She "placed a heavy object on the counter" and texted Heath on Ashley's phone, asking how long it would be until he got home.  She took down the camera and placed it in the refrigerator.  

The garage camera showed Heath arriving at home, "you hear gunshots," and "Carly left home," said Cotton. 

Before Heath arrived, Gregg texted a friend "It's an emergency, I need you to come over."  She played with her dogs and sang to them as she waited for her friend. 

The friend arrived around 4:50 (driven by her father).  She later told investigators Gregg asked her if she ever saw a dead body before.  The friend replied no.  Cotton testified Gregg showed her dead mother in the bedroom and the gun she used to shoot her mom to her friend.  You read that correctly.  Gregg showed off her kill to her friend if the friend is to be believed.  (8:00)

The friend said that Gregg said there were more for Heath, "two for the head, one for the chest."  The courtroom became very silent as a chill spread across the room.  

The friend and her father went to RCSO that evening and cooperated with the investigation.  

Cotton testified that when jail employee provided bond paperwork to Gregg, the teen said "oh, you can kill someone, pay a lot of money, and get out of jail." 

Gregg attorney Bridgett Todd claimed Gregg's medication was switched to Lexapro five days before the homicide.  

Rankin County Court Judge David Morrow bound her over to the grand jury and kept her bond at $1 million at the preliminary hearing.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...she ain't lookin' too good.

Anonymous said...

How is the friend not an accessory if she knew that the girl had already killed her mother and intended to kill her father yet appears to have not called anyone?

Anonymous said...

It’s ok, she really trust her attorney, they met in homeroom

Anonymous said...

Coleman is playing 3D chess by setting up Gregg for a great appeal based on having an incompetent lawyer. Most attorneys have too much professional pride to intentionally look like an idiot to help the client's case.

Anonymous said...

Dude, he has been practicing for 5 minutes. Attorney and client have over 35 years of combined life experience

Anonymous said...

This is the dynamic duo that so adeptly helped Kevin Camp secure the conviction of Beth Ann White

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes. What are law schools doing? HIPPA applies to healthcare providers. I can’t violate hippa, but St D can

Anonymous said...

"Gregg's lawyer called the crimes a "family tragedy" and said they "should not be fodder for the public's entertainment."

Yet here we are on the state gossip and entertainment blog.

Anonymous said...

Instead of “may it please the court,” this guy just stood up and said “heyyyy yoouu guyyyysss”

Anonymous said...

Her smug grin and too cool for school look has sure changed over the past few weeks. I guess reality is setting in.

Anonymous said...

Reality is definitely setting in. While her former schoolmates are starting their summer vacations, Carley sits in the Rankin County jail with all that entails - low company, no privacy, poor vituals. She no doubt misses the nice meals her mother made for her when she contemplates the cold baloney sandwich on her tray.

Anonymous said...

what difference does it make her lawyer failed to fulfill the notice requirement?

judge gonna deny it no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Honest questions:

1) who is paying for the attorney or is he a PD?

2) if she does in fact get lowered bond, and bind out, who’s paying for that and who does she stay with? Not mother, not step father, then who?

Anonymous said...

Would be just my luck to get this guy as my court appointed lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or do Rankin County District Court judges actually do their jobs? Oh, Kingfish must’ve mic’d errybody up because the audio is downright audible.

Anonymous said...

Appointing this lawyer for her is child abuse.

Anonymous said...

Don’t slander the Rankin Co. public defenders by comparing them to this guy. They would all practice circles around this clown. He is her retained counsel.

Anonymous said...

6:38, but it's HIPAA

Kingfish said...

Her lawyers are retained counsel, not public defenders.

Anonymous said...

I know it is a constitutional right to bond however the safest place for this young lady is in a facility where she is supervised! The individuals wanting her out on bond can visit her there and she can continue her eduction also! But one thing Im sure she dearly misses is her cell phone!!!l She’s wondering how many likes she has received!

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong for me to think some people are born bad?

Anonymous said...

Lots of attorney incompetence out there, as well.

Anonymous said...

SHE is a Sociopath!
inherited genes and/or life experiences or circumstances…
Parents probably knew she was OFF…..
Pryor to incident, she had begun a new medication…..
which has nothing to do with this situation….

Anonymous said...

"since Gregg is a minor, the Court must review her detention every thirty days. Hence, today's hearing." Thanks for this, Kingfish. I didn't know that.

Lawyer says Dr. can not conduct the evaluation in the jail. What an odd statement. "Her detention or incarceration will not prevent her from being evaluated" Good job, Judge.

What's up with the lawyer? Ms Bar says admitted 2022 but he's listed at three different firms (Caleb Coleman & Associates formed 2023 in Ridgeland; Coleman Todd formed 2024 in Brandon; and Roberts, Bridges & Boydston in Madison). Whatever.

Anonymous said...

I’ll bet you that her relatives and family friends are not surprised of her actions/behavior! We own a daycare and had a child 3 years old. A child accidentally stepped on the back of her shoe on the way to the park , she snaps, stumps her feet, goes into a rage saying, m f this and that!

Medication is not always the first treatment! A stern look and an ass whipping probably will do it! (Now I don’t mean whipping the child, I’m talking about some of these parents)!

Not I’m not talking about this particular incident! These days if you take a child’s cell phone you’re( the parent) looking at an ass whooping!

Again I’m talking about these weak, sorry ass parents!

Anonymous said...

Never ceases to amaze me as not only non lawyers but even wealthy ambulance chasers and judges hire ambulance chasers or divorce lawyers to defend themselves in criminal court, even Fed Crim courts.

A troubled kid facing murder charges and they pick a basic local PI lawyer???

Good Lord. Would you hire a chiropractor to do your open heart surgery? No, Cousin Vinny is fiction. Hire the best experienced crim lawyer you can get, and I'm NOT on your side, but you deserve someone who doesn't piss off the entire court. As someone said, maybe this is deliberate for appeal purposes, but that's beyond laughable as it's a detention hearing. Mr Gambini here does seems headed in a lot of wrong directions.

Anonymous said...

So who is paying her attorney fees?

Kingfish said...

Retained by her family is what I've been told. Not court-appointed.

Anonymous said...

Sociopaths (psychopaths, pretty much the same thing) are formed, not born.

We willfully override good and bad genes everyday. The healthcare industry has been flogging the "genetics" mantra for decades in order to plunder trillions from the sheeple. Nurture (parenting) determines a child's outcome, but you can't make money off of that.

Anonymous said...

6:22AM, there's also the issue of EPIGENETICS. My preadolescent granddaughters like to watch Dottoressa Lucia Aronica's lectures on Epigenetics - mostly concerning the role of diet as an epigenetic trigger or suppressor. (You'll like Aronica. She's a dish, a longtime member of the bodybuilding community, in low-cut skirtsuits - and living proof of what ketogenic diets can do for the body. Her lectures are either in Italian, with BIG English subtitles, or English subtitled in Italian. I help the granddaughters with definitions and Italian pronunciations (and translations of key words, into SEVERAL languages, which keeps all of us sharp). They're learning Italian, AND a subject which they actually find interesting).

My guess is that DIET is what led to the initial problems this young lady experienced. Once psychotropic medications entered the picture, though, all bets were off, and theories as to the original dysfunction's origins SHOULD HAVE taken a back seat to understanding the effects of whatever substances have been in-play, recently.

All that said, I love and believe-in the Supreme Being. I'm praying for this child, and hope that you will, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm with 11:41. I can't believe her family is leaving her in this lawyer's hands. He's a run-of-the-mill PI lawyer who has apparently been at three firms in two years. His current firm was formed in APRIL of THIS YEAR and he has no discernible criminal practice expertise. No wonder he doesn't know the rules! Maybe this guy is all they could afford, but it's akin to having a mechanic perform heart surgery. All I can say is WOW! I wouldn't hire him to defend a DUI case, much less murder.

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