Attorney General wants to take over District Attorney's cases - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Attorney General wants to take over District Attorney's cases

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

In the case for Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, documents previously sealed by court order have been released and show that Smith's practices may not have been ethical.

An indictment filed September 7th of this year charges Smith with two counts of conspiracy for hindering prosecution, and one count of advising criminals. Those charges all involve a Christopher Butler, who is not mentioned in these newly unsealed documents. Instead, the focus in the released files is a man named Donald Turner.

The unsealed documents say Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith did not prosecute Donald Turner because the two are good friends. They say Turner has been involved in a wide range of criminal activity, but has never been charged by Smith's office. The Attorney General's Office has asked the court to allow them to take over Smith's cases.

Matt Steffey is a law professor at the Mississippi College School of Law. 

"I think the good of the office might be served," he said, "If the DA stepped aside until this was resolved."

The new documents also say Smith shielded certain businessmen from prosecution for illicit activity.

For example, the previous owner of the Express Fuel Store on Northside Drive has been arrested multiple times an is under an active investigation for drug trafficking...but the FBI says Smith's office, quote "deliberately avoided prosecuting" the owner.

This is what Smith had to say before the release of these documents: "The office is operating just fine and court is going on, court is in session everyday and our attorney's are working, including myself"

The District Attorney has not admitted guilt.

"Mere allegations don't normally trigger the consequences, those have to be proven in court," Steffey added.

Trial has been set for December 19th. Each of Smith's felony charges could land him 5 years in prison and a 5-thousand dollar fine - plus another 500 dollar fine for his misdemeanor charge.

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