Hinds DA's appeal denied: traffic light murder suspect remains f - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds DA's appeal denied: traffic light murder suspect remains free

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

A Mississippi Supreme Court justice has denied Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's appeal in the case of a murder suspect released from jail despite being deemed a danger to the community. 

In October, one of the suspects, Nicholas Coats, was denied bail and bound over to a grand jury. He was charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and murder in the August shooting death of Chelsie Lynn Kirschten on Fortification Street in Jackson.

Two arrested, charged in deadly Fortification Street red light shooting

Judge William Skinner said Coats had to be released by January 2 if not indicted by that date. 

According to court documents, the DA had four and a half months to present the case to the grand jury. By January 2, Coats had not been indicted, therefore he was released from custody a few days later.

RELATED: Hinds County DA calls Jackson murder suspect's release "unconstitutional"

The DA -- after questions from reporters regarding Coats' release -- then filed two motions requesting the court to return Coats to custody without bond.

Smith told 3 On Your Side in January that he still had not received Coats' grand jury case file from the Jackson Police Department because the lead detective had not completed work on the case due to a departmental suspension.

An email from JPD Deputy Chief Tyrone Buckley indicates that case file was delivered to Smith's office on January 22, nearly five months after Coats' arrest.

Smith asked Judge Tommy Green to hold a pre-trial detention hearing, which she subsequently denied. 

According to court documents, Judge Green reconvened the grand jury Tuesday, giving the state an opportunity to present Coats' case -- and the other two murder suspects -- for indictment.

The Supreme Court denied Smith's petition for a hearing on Coats' "improper release."

3 On Your Side Investigates: Failure to Indict

In the meantime, Lidarious Dixon remains behind bars on a murder charge, according to jail records from the Hinds County Sheriff's Office.

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