DA Files: Hinds County District Attorney on Trial | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

DA Files: Hinds County District Attorney on Trial

A collection of stories about Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and historic controversies related to the DA's office.

Crime

A Sterling Closer, Failed Maury Povich Quip Closed Out Hinds DA Smith's Second Trial

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The mostly female and predominately black jury raised their hands Tuesday evening to confirm that they unanimously had decided that Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was not guilty of any of the three counts the State of Mississippi had brought against him.

Cover

The Case Against the Hinds DA: A Long-Running Hinds County Whodunit Ends

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Jackson has been enveloped in a seemingly ripe "whodunit" case involving Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith since 2011.

City & County

Jury Finds Hinds DA 'Not Guilty,' Hood Looks to Smith's Next Trial

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A jury found Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith "not guilty" on three counts for hindering the prosecution of Christopher Butler.

City & County

Witness for Hinds DA Helps State’s Case Against Him, Confirms ‘Hindering’

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One of the witnesses called to help Smith actually ended up confirming that he probably did what the State is accusing him of doing—hindering the prosecution of Christopher Butler for white-collar mail-fraud charges.

Crime

Hinds DA's Motive Doesn't Matter in Conspiracy Case, State Argues in Court

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The State of Mississippi rested its case against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith Friday, bringing the first week of his second trial to a close, even as the jury had to stay sequestered through the weekend at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond.

Crime

Newly Discovered Footage Changing Focus of Hinds DA's Trial

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The second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for trying to hinder the prosecution of Christopher Butler is different from his first trial earlier this year in at least one significant way. Recently discovered surveillance video footage from the home of Butler weakens one of Smith's primary defenses for his actions to help Butler.

Crime

Hindering Justice? DA Smith Back on Trial

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The second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith kicked off at 9:03 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, with a jury of seven women and five men who did not seem all that happy to be there.

Crime

As DA's Trial Begins, Key Player Sentenced 30 Years for Pot Found in MBN Raid

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As the second trial against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith begins today, Christopher Butler, 40, is headed to prison for 30 years without parole after a Hinds County Circuit Court jury convicted him of possession of a large amount of marijuana on July 27.

Crime

Hinds County DA Smith's Appeal Fails, Supreme Court Orders Retrial

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The Mississippi Supreme Court denied Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's appeal to avoid a second trial yesterday.

City & County

‘Juror No. 4’ Causes AG v. DA Kerfuffle; Both Want Jury Back Now

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The Mississippi attorney general’s office wants the jury from Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith’s trial back, this time to get to the bottom of why it ended in a mistrial.

City & County

The District Attorney's Mistrial: What Just Happened? A Day-by-Day Primer

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The Mississippi attorney general's prosecution of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for conspiracy to hinder prosecution in order to aid or assist a defendant ended in a mistrial on Jan. 4, 2017, in Special Judge Larry Roberts' courtroom.

Crime

UPDATED: DA Smith Puts Ben Allen on Trial Jan. 30, DJP Suing 'Whistleblower' Claiming Forged Checks

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The trial of Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen, who faces 10 counts, including embezzling a 1989 Chevy truck and tens of thousands of dollars from the business improvement district, is set to begin Jan. 30.

Crime

UPDATED: Ben Allen Trial Set for Jan. 30; Hinds DA Indicted Him, State Investigators

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The trial of Downtown Jackson Partners Executive Director Ben Allen, who has been accused on 10 counts, including embezzling a 1989 Chevy truck and tens of thousands of dollars from the development group, is set to begin Jan. 30.

City & County

Hinds District Attorney Arrested by AG, Sheriff

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An arrest warrant was served and executed on Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith Wednesday morning for six counts of what court documents state was assisting criminal defendants during his term.

State

Judge Argues Against Unsealing Mystery Case Without Redactions

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By the end of today, the public might regain access to sealed court documents concerning the recent charges against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, although one of the judges thinks that the DA's allegations are "unsupported by the actual documents and hearing transcript" for one sealed case, No. 16-120.

State

Alleged Smith-Turner Connection Revealed in Case 16-120

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The connection between Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and Darnell Turner, a criminal defendant named in one of the six counts that Smith faced originally, has been something of a mystery.

Cover

DA Files: The Curious Case of Mr. Smith, Mr. Butler and Mr. Hood

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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith walked into the courtroom on March 3, 2016, with a clear goal—to help get Christopher Butler, then 38, out of the Raymond jail.

City & County

UPDATED: Judge Sets DA's New Trial for June 12 after Mistrial, Hood Slams Dishonesty of Juror

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The jury in the State of Mississippi case against Hinds District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith only deliberated about three hours before the judge declared a mistrial at about 4 p.m. today.

Crime

'Too Sweet,' Bribes and Smith Take Center Stage at DA Trial

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The trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith continues today with testimony from Robert "Too Sweet" Henderson.

Crime

No Dismissal, a Judge and an Inmate in Smith Trial

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The exact extent to which a prosecutor can go to prove his claim that a prisoner is innocent is central to the State trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

Crime

Judge Weill Takes Stand in DA Trial, Followed by Political Gadfly

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A sitting Hinds County Circuit Court Judge took the stand this morning in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, despite his attorney's strenuous objections, testifying to his history with Smith.

City & County

Former Butler Prosecutor Says DA Smith Fired Her Over Case

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Former Assistant District Attorney Gale Walker took the stand Tuesday afternoon to testify against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, who is accused of trying to help an indicted man, Christopher Butler, stay out of jail. During the prosecution’s rebuttal stage, Walker told the jury of her time prosecuting Butler on drug charges, saying she believed she had a strong case against him until the DA removed her.

Crime

DA Smith: Going Too Far to Help Butler?

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The jury in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has a lot to untangle, as the prosecution continues to present pieces of its case that the district attorney conspired to hinder the prosecution of Christopher Butler in order to aid in efforts to free him.

City & County

The Dark Side of the Hinds Justice System

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It will be a tough slog, but we need confidence and accountability in the Hinds criminal-justice system again.

Crime

Day 5: DA's Attorney Takes Stand ... for Prosecution

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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith had the opportunity to ask his own attorney questions on the stand after the prosecution called Tupelo attorney Jim Waide as its latest witness during the fifth morning of testimony the Smith trial.

Crime

Day 4 of DA Smith Trial All About Jail Visits

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Staff from the Raymond detention center and criminal defendant Christopher's Butler's old attorney, Sanford Knott, dominated the much of day four of the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for conspiracy to hinder prosecution and aid or assist Christopher Butler in his bid to get released from jail.

Crime

Smith Trial: Defense Tries to Impugn Informant

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On the fourth day of the trial against the Hinds County district attorney, his attorney tried to impugn the motives of a former employee-turned-informant, pressing him for more details on an alleged bribery conspiracy.

Crime

Conspiracies Grow in DA Smith Trial

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There might be a bribery conspiracy in the Hinds County justice system, and even an admitted member of it said he did not know how "deep it goes."

City & County

DA Smith Asks High Court for Reinstatement

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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shueler Smith filed a motion for the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn an order barring him from participating in any of the duties of his office.

Crime

DA Files: ‘Too Sweet’ Reverend, Old Faces Back in News

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Names of men who were involved in the late and controversial Mayor Frank Melton's universe keep popping up in the convoluted accusations encircling Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

Crime

Lawsuit Targets Chris Butler, Connected to Mega Mattress Scam

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Christopher Butler, one of the more prominent figures involved in the ongoing legal battle between Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and the Mississippi attorney general's office, now faces a federal civil lawsuit in addition to his pending criminal charges.

Crime

In DA Case, Former Mayor Danks Challenges AG's Right to Empanel Grand Jury

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Former Jackson Mayor Dale Danks Jr., the attorney for Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride, is challenging the attorney general's authority to ask a Hinds County grand jury to indict him and his boss, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

City & County

Informant: Butler Case ‘Became the Big Thing’ in DA’s Office

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It all began in the P.F. Chang’s parking lot, a former assistant district attorney testified on Tuesday in the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for two counts of conspiracy and one count of aiding or assisting a criminal defendant while serving as district attorney.

Crime

Informant Recorded DA Smith, Reported to FBI for Months

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Former Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson secretly taped District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith on several occasions over the last year, FBI Special Agent Robert Culpepper testified this morning during the trial against the county's top prosecutor for alleged trying to help wire-fraud suspect Christopher Butler beat his charges.

State

County Renews Lapsed Ankle-Bracelet Contract DA Complained About

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No contract existed between Hinds County and the company that provided pre-trial detainee supervision, Probation Services Company, LLC, for almost 8 years, until the Board of Supervisors ratified a motion this morning to accept all services for those intervening years and open the contract opportunity up to other companies that meet "county standards."

City & County

Analysis: The DA’s Role in Freeing Defendants

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Last week, a Hinds County grand jury indicted District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, along with one of his assistant district attorneys, for felony charges for hindering the prosecution of Christopher Butler, essentially replacing the State's earlier misdemeanor charges against the DA, which were dropped earlier the same week.

City & County

DA’s ‘Adversarial’ Relationship with Judge Weill, Turner Details Surface in Motion

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District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith showed up in the chambers of Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill on May 11 of this year to get a cell phone back, then sent two “threatening text messages” to the judge later that day.

City & County

Hinds DA Indicted, Arrested for Hindering Prosecution, Two Felonies

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JACKSON— Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Hinds County grand jury has indicted Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith on two felony charges, accusing Smith of conspiring with an assistant DA to hinder prosecution of a criminal defendant.

City & County

AG's Office: Assistant DA to Testify For Prosecution After Charges Dismissed

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One of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith’s former assistant DAs will testify for the prosecution in his trial for alleged tampering with wire-fraud suspect Christopher Butler, the attorney general’s office said today. Special Judge Larry Roberts dropped charges against ADA Jamie McBride while jury selection was underway earlier today.

Crime

The DA’s Puzzling Accusations

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A week after Special Judge Larry Roberts ordered files unsealed in the wide-ranging charges against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for allegedly improperly trying to help a defendant, the files were still not in public view as at press time.

Crime

DA Smith Says MBN Framed Jackson Man; Agency Says Evidence Not 'Credible'

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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is hanging his defense to state charges and a bar complaint around what he alleges is a set-up of Christopher Butler, the man at the center of five of the six counts that could get the DA booted from office.

Crime

DA Robert Smith's Trial Starts Today

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The trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for alleged tampering with criminal cases began today, with jury selection this morning. The list of potential witnesses in Special Judge Larry Roberts' courtroom includes Smith's own attorney, Jim Waide, and Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason.

State

Court May Decide if Judge Can Bar District Attorney from Duties

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It is up to the highest court in Mississippi to decide whether Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith will be able to continue the duties of his position while the county circuit court deliberates his alleged acts of assisting defendants.

City & County

UPDATED: Indictment Snares Attorney Previously Used to Defend DA Smith

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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was the high-profile name listed in a three-count felony indictment today. But the other is an assistant district attorney who Smith’s attorney claims can help prove that the state attorney general’s office has ulterior motives in pursuing the local prosecutor.

Cover

DA Files: What Is Case No. 16-120?

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This Hinds County Circuit Court case, 16-120, serves as the central mystery to the ongoing legal morass surrounding District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

City & County

Christopher Butler Arraigned for Having Pre-paid Tracfone in Hinds Jail

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Christopher Butler, the Jackson man in the middle of Attorney General Jim Hood's investigation of HInds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, was arraigned today for having an illegal, pre-paid cell phone in the Hinds jail.

City & County

UPDATE: Bomb Threat Clears Hinds County Courthouse

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Moments after the Hinds County Circuit Clerk explained that he could not produce documents supporting Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's counter-accusations against Attorney General Jim Hood'ss office, deputies swarmed the bottom floor of the courthouse, ushering everyone out of the building.

City & County

DA Could Face Fast Removal from Office If Judge Grants Bench Trial

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The Mississippi attorney general’s office wants to move forward quickly on the single misdemeanor charge Hinds County Robert Shuler Smith faces, possibly removing him from office without a jury decision.

City & County

DA Smith’s Charges Go to Grand Jury

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A Hinds County grand jury will decide whether Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith should be charged with assisting defendants.

Cover

DA Files: The Legacy of Williams v. State

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During his objections to Attorney General Jim Hood's prosecution of Christopher Butler at a hearing in Hinds County Judge Melvin Priester Sr.'s courtroom on March 3, 2016, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith referenced the Supreme Court decision of Williams v. State.

Cover

DA Files: What the Heck is ‘Ex Parte’?

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A common denominator in the myriad of charges Attorney General Jim Hood has leveled against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is his alleged use of “ex parte communications.”

State

Bar Files Complaint Against DA, Includes Letter About His Mother

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The air of secrecy continues around the case against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith Wednesday, as Hinds County Judge Larita Cooper-Stokes recused herself during a closed meeting with attorneys, and the Mississippi Bar Association filed a complaint, including judicial complaints about "odd and improper" attempts by Smith and his mother to communicate with Judge Tomie Green.

City & County

Robert Shuler Smith Reinstated as Hinds District Attorney, Despite Indictment

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Robert Shuler Smith is the District Attorney of Hinds County again, effectively immediately after the Mississippi Supreme Court today overturned an order barring Smith from his duties.

State

AG Hood Using Secret Tapes, Confidential Informants Against DA Smith

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Attorney General Jim Hood revealed in court filings Friday that his office is using both confidential informants and secret recordings of the Hinds County district attorney in its quest to investigate Robert Shuler Smith and ultimately remove him from office for inappropriate interference with the prosecution of two local men.

State

Twists, Turns, Rats and Secret Tapes

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Who's ratting out the district attorney? That's just one of many questions swirling around Attorney General Jim Hood's arrest and investigation of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

City & County

DA’s Attorney Looking for Tapes, Informant; Says AG Hiding Him

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Defense counsel James Waide III may have revealed the name of the confidential informant who taped Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and then provided tapes to the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s office—tapes that could get Waide disqualified as Smith’s attorney.

City & County

FBI Agent Accuses Hinds District Attorney of Shielding Drug Traffickers

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A judge unsealed documents last week as part of the ongoing case against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride that reveal more about the possible reasons for the circuitous legal quagmire that spans multiple cases and courts.