/Attorney for Hinds DA seeks hearing

Attorney for Hinds DA seeks hearing

Smith asked the Hinds County Court Tuesday to order the state attorney general’s to produce a transcript from secretly recorded conversations that he had with Ivon John, an ex-assistant district attorney who pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge that he used money to lower bail for criminal defendants. Johnson is described in the motion as a “confidential informationant” by the state. Smith wants Christopher Butler to be brought before the state. Butler is accused of illegally aiding Butler and another prisoner. Smith’s attorney Jim Waide, Tupelo says that Butler “threatened” to make false statements against Smith and that Johnson can’t be found for questioning. Smith was taken into custody June 22 for a six-count affidavit alleging that the district attorney had illegally assisted criminal defendants. Smith called the misdemeanor charges “false”, and said they were “designed to denigrate his credibility.” According to court documents, Special Judge Larry E. Roberts has been hearing a motion by the Attorney General seeking to stop all grand jury proceedings in which Smith is involved. The motion’s details have not been made public. Waide asked for a Thursday hearing to discuss the legal issues against Smith. Waide requests that the court release transcripts from closed hearings, documents and other proceedings relating to Smith’s investigation. Waide said that the hearing would permit him to respond both to the state’s motion to stop grand jury proceedings involving Smith, and to respond to Smith’s request for Waide to not be allowed to act as his representative. Waide was asked by Attorney General Jim Hood to be disqualified from representing Smith. Hood said Waide would be a witness in the case and could not separate his role as advocate for Smith and his role. Hood’s motion also cites “evidence”, which states that Smith spoke with Waide about Smith’s efforts to help. Judge Melvin Priester Sr. charged Smith with “irrational and manic” behavior following a March 3 hearing in Hinds County Court for Butler. These descriptions were part of a transcript from the hearing, which was included in a formal complaint by the Mississippi State Bar Association about Smith. After all Hinds’ County judges withdrew from the case, James Bell, a senior-status judge, was appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to hear the case on Aug. 4. Roberts, a senior judge with the Mississippi Court of Appeals was also appointed by the Supreme Court Aug. 4, to oversee circuit court activity in Smith’s case due to recuses by Hinds County judges. Butler, 39, was also charged with possessing a cell phone while in prison. According to the news release from the agency, he could face up to 15 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine if convicted of the charge of being a habitual offender. According to the new indictment, Butler was allegedly found with a Tracfone during his time at Jackson Detention Center. According to the release, Butler is still in custody. Waide and Smith are disputing where Butler is held. The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and referred it to the Attorney General’s Office. Ronnie Odom, of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division, assisted in the investigation. Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander will handle the prosecution. Alexander opposed Smith’s re-election. Legal filings relating to another defendant Smith is accused of aiding brought to light the Smith-Hood controversy. A series of emails were found in those legal filings, where Smith challenged Alexander’s attempts to bypass the District Attorney’s Office to call a grand jury. Smith claimed that only the district attorney could convene a grand jury and that he planned to subpoena the attorney general’s staff to testify in front of one. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today.