Mental Evaluations Delay Trial of Man Jailed for 6 Years - - Jackson, MS

Mental Evaluations Delay Trial of Man Jailed for 6 Years

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Samuel Johnson has been an inmate at the Hinds County Detention Center since May of 2006. Sunday, Supervisor Kenneth Stokes and Johnson's family held a press conference and a time of prayer. They claimed he's waited behind bars for too long.

Johnson is charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and receiving stolen goods. Six years later, his mother says he's served his time and should now be in a mental hospital, not jail.

"I think that anybody that stays in jail that long and don't go to trail and stuff, you know, I'm just thinking their mind will go wild," said Belvelma Johnson, Samuel Johnson's mother.

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith says the case has not fallen through the cracks. Instead, there's an explanation that lies in Johnson's mental state.

"One report says that he is incompetent and another report says that he is competent to stand trial," said Smith.

Because the two mental evaluations don't match up, the court has ordered a third. However, Smith says it could be awhile before that is completed.

The only way for Johnson to get to trial sooner would be for his attorney to concede he's competent to stand trial.

Meanwhile, the District Attorney's office stands by the report that deemed Johnson competent.

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