Hinds D.A. files contempt motion - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds D.A. files contempt motion

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

WLBT was first to tell you about a list of people who were charged with major crimes, 'no billed' in Hinds county, and ultimately released from jail. No bill means the grand jury refused to indict them due to lack of evidence.

Now, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith is calling out sheriff's department officials for releasing that information to local media.

Smith has filed a motion of contempt, accusing Hinds county Chief Deputy Chris Picou, of illegally leaking the grand jury results to us and another media outlets.

"I can't talk about it because it's still under investigation," said Chief Deputy Picou.

WLBT received just a 'no bill' list, nothing about people being indicted.

The motion states that the grand jury DID return an indictment against a certain defendant on the no bill list. That charge was for possession of opium.

The case involving the opium the D.A. refers to is connected to the January 16th arrest of several store owners and managers of the Jubilee food and deli mart. At that time, Jackson police were seen leaving the store with weapons, television sets and bags of opium.

Through his motion, D-A Smith is making the point, that someone can be no billed, but still be indicted on other charges.

Chief Deputy Picou says the 'no bill' list highlights problems within the justice system.

"Law enforcement makes the case they send it to the District Attorney's office," said Picou. "It's his responsibility to take it to the grand jury. If there's not enough evidence, he feels there's not enough evidence to get an indictment, it's his responsibility to go back to law enforcement and say we need to work together to build a stronger case on this one. It's not happening."

Hinds county Sheriff Tyrone Lewis and spokesman Othor Cain are also mentioned, accused of broadcasting the defendant in question had not been indicted, on a local radio station.

Today Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith said he was unable to talk about the court filing because the indictments had not been served yet.

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