Hinds D.A. office future operations uncertain - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds D.A. office future operations uncertain

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

Questions surround the operation of the Hinds county District Attorney's office after Robert Schuler-Smith and an Assistant District Attorney were arrested on felony conspiracy charges.

The three count indictment states Smith and two former D.A.'s  gave defendants advice without their attorney's present.

The recent indictments will leave the Hinds County District Attorney's Office short handed for the time being.  According to the website, minus Robert Schuler-Smith and Jamie McBride, there are nine assistants left.

Mississippi College Professor Matt Steffey said, "Often in these cases people who are facing charges step aside and if that happens there's a significant reduction in manpower."

Steffey says that courtroom time and available public defenders are more often responsible for a slowdown in prosecutions.

"I think we may see some convictions challenged if this proceeds adversely for the DA," said Steffey.  "But it undermines public confidence anytime a judge or a prosecutor or any elected official is accused of violating the criminal law we erode confidence in our elected officials.  We don't know we've seen the end of it, we don't know if other people are going to be involved as witnesses or defendants down the line."

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