Frankie's Got A Gun | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Frankie's Got A Gun

From the day Frank Melton took office as mayor of Jackson on July 4, 2006, he has exercised his right to bear arms in dramatic and public ways. Almost immediately after proclaiming at his inauguration that he was going to run the "thugs" out of Jackson, Melton donned black SWAT-type clothing—black fatigues and a bulletproof vest, usually over a black WLBT polo shirt and a dark baseball cap—and strapped on at least one semiautomatic handgun into a front holster on the vest for his nocturnal "crime-fighting" raids that would become the trademark of his mayoral agenda.

In the early months of his administration, those raids included stalking and lecturing young people out past curfew at convenience stores, yelling at accused drug dealers and prostitutes in low-rent motels on Highway 80, and haranguing owners and residents of the Jackson Apartments on Maple Street, where he visited several times before forcing closure of the apartments in January 2006. Nearly always, Melton had his two bodyguards—Dets. Michael Recio and Marcus Wright—at his side wearing their black gear and carrying MP5 submachine guns.

The Jackson Apartments now sit boarded up, and Melton and his bodyguards are under indictment for a raid on Ridgeway Street in the Virden Addition that sounds more like the stuff of a movie that went straight to DVD. This one wasn't just about guns; it involved sledgehammers and at least one four-foot Walking Talk-esque stick that witnesses say Melton used to break windows of the duplex where schizophrenic and convicted petty drug user Evans Welch lived.

But the Ridgeway Street incident—first reported on Sept. 1 by Adam Lynch of the Jackson Free Press—was not the only legal steamroller headed Melton's way. The mayor's September surprise would turn out to be the evidence of weapons violations that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's investigators had been quietly amassing against Melton since Hood had warned him not to break gun laws back in May.

When the grand jury indictments for the Ridgeway Street demolition came down on Sept. 15, they were accompanied by separate charges against Melton himself—two misdemeanors and one felony—for violating the state's gun laws. According to the indictments, the attorney general had evidence that Melton illegally carried guns into a church and a public park, as well as onto a college campus earlier this year. If he is convicted of the felony in his trial that starts Nov. 14, his visit to Mississippi College could cost Melton not only his guns and his badges, but it would end his tenure as mayor and keep him from running again.

A felon cannot hold state office in Mississippi.

A Man and His Holster

The first time I ever came up close and personal with one of Melton's guns was on Thursday, March 30, 2006, in his seldom-used office on the second floor of City Hall. When I arrived for the second in my series of interviews with him—the first one was the week before in the same office—the mayor looked different from the first interview. Again, he was sitting next to Kamikaze—the rapper and a columnist for the JFP who had set up these interviews—and Anthony Staffney, a former gang leader and a longtime Melton mentee who recently had been exonerated in a murder case. I had met Staffney entering Melton's office as I'd left the last interview. He was working for Melton and the city at that point—but would not officially be added to the payroll until June 1, making about $23,000 a year as a senior administrative clerk.

The surprise for me, though, was the tan leather gun holster that Melton was wearing over his starched-but-wrinkled white shirt on March 30. He was sitting at his small conference table, smoking, as he waved me in with the hand holding the cigarette. As he flicked his ashes into a round smokeless ashtray, I glanced nervously at the handgun resting under his arm—I don't recognize firearms easily so I didn't know what kind it was—as I set up my two tape recorders in front of him. During this interview, he seemed more at ease than he had the week before; thus, I figured that was why he let me see him without his jacket, his gun showing.

During that interview, we talked in-depth about the young men he had tried to help over the years, like Maurice Warner, Staffney and his late brother Joe, as well as a 14-year-old white kid that Melton said had skipped school and was smoking marijuana in Melton's home some years back. Melton told me that the teen then just "took a gun and killed himself."

"They were supposed to be in school," he continued. "They skipped school, and the kid was playing with a gun, put it to his head and blew his brains out." Melton did not say where the boy got the gun.

I asked Melton directly about the danger his "foster" kids—he is not, in fact, a certified foster parent—were in, if he believed he is in such constant danger that he has to carry weapons day and night—even in City Hall: "Explain how it makes sense that you are allowed to keep young people in your house, considering the danger around you. Your bodyguards carry submachine guns; you're wearing a gun now (in a shoulder holster)," I asked him in his office.

Melton answered: "My kids are so used to it. It's not an issue for them. But then, it is an issue." He was referring to the boys getting upset because some of the young men he lets stay in his house do things like steal from them. "[O]ne of the things the kids griped at me about was, 'You let these people come in here, and they steal our clothes and this, that and the other.' And I'm saying, 'Well, you know, they're just clothes. We can replace those.Ҕ

"It is a risk that I take with all of them," the mayor added. "And including a personal risk to myself. (Protecting witnesses like Christopher Walker) is a risk that I take. It's a personal risk to me with everything that we have going on. But it's a risk I'm comfortable with because I'd rather know where this person is until we can put this thing together than have to go see him with his brains blown out."

By the time photographer Kate Medley arrived to photograph Melton for the paper, he had put his jacket back on. I asked him if we could shoot him without his jacket. "No," he said quietly, shaking his head.

Of Chicken and Gun Belts

The next time I saw that leather gun holster was the night of Sunday, April 2, the eve of the start of the murder trial of Albert and Terrell Donelson and James Benton for allegedly killing Aaron Crockett. Melton had invited me and photographer Jaro Vacek over to dinner with him and the young men who lived with him; then we planned to go out in the Mobile Command Center on a raid.

At the house, we ran headlong into a bizarre cast of characters—in addition to Melton and the young men who live in the house with him, there were Police Chief Shirlene Anderson, Assistant Chief Roy Sandifer, bodyguards Wright and Recio, Melton's mild-mannered Rottweiler, Abby—and his star witness in the Donelson trial, Christopher Walker.

Already dressed in his black night garb, but with no guns or vest, yet, Melton was in a jovial mood and kept trying to get me to interview Walker, who looked very uncomfortable with the situation and kept leaving the room.

While the cheese-smothered chicken baked, Melton took me on a tour of the house—from the recliner-filled movie room to the Olympic-sized swimming pool where he swims every day. Over the pool, his bedroom was the biggest I'd ever seen—it's the exact size of the pool room, he said—and was sparsely furnished with an unmade bed and a few pieces of heavy furniture along the walls. Next to his bed sat an old-fashioned red phone that he called the "hotlineԗthat's where he gets reports of murders, he said. On his dresser were strewn several gold badges and a handgun. Hanging on a coat rack a few feet from the dresser was the tan leather gun holster, amid a number of different baseball caps.

Back in the kitchen where everyone congregated, we soon were joined by attorney Robert Smith—then the attorney for James Benton in the Wood Street trial and now counsel for Marcus Wright in the Ridgeway trials, set to start next spring—who seemed confused by why Melton asked him there, especially when he saw Jaro and me. Cedric Willis, recently exonerated of murder and released from Parchman after 12 years, soon arrived, accompanied by a preacher who said that Melton asked him to bring Willis over.

The mayor then asked a bewildered-looking Willis, "Son, did you do it, son?"

"No, sir," Willis responded, looking like he wanted to disappear through the floor.

After dinner, Melton started rounding up the troops to go out on the raid. He put one badge on Abby's collar (to the bemusement of two of the young men who lived there) and motioned me to follow him into his bedroom. There, I stood watching him finish accessorizing for the night—adding a badge, his bulletproof "Police" vest with a special holster on his left front for one of his two handguns. He fumbled while he fastened the gun belt holding the second gun he wore on his right hip.

I asked Melton how he had authority to carry his weapons as mayor, and he answered mysteriously that he had been licensed for years, dating back to some sort of police work in Texas—where he lived until he moved to Jackson in 1986—and added that he would tell me all about it when the time was right. He also assured me that he keeps his bedroom doors locked when he isn't there.

As we walked outside, Melton opened his car door and pulled out a bulletproof vest for me to put on. Jaro had brought his own.

Armed for the Road

It was to be an eventful evening—with guns involved all along the way. First, we went straight to University Medical Center after a murder in a shooting near the Medical Mall; one twin was dying in UMC, as the surviving twin rode around with us, with Melton saying it was to protect him from the murderers. He was covered with blood and told Melton the story in detail as I listened. As they cruised that night, he said, they had semi-automatic weapons in their laps. They had bought them at a gun show the day before, he said.

We spent several hours with Melton on the raid—along with the police chief and assistant chief and the bodyguards. The chiefs didn't seem to be armed, but the bodyguards were carrying submachine guns, and Melton wore his guns throughout the night as they entered private homes where he believed drugs were consumed or sold, cruised through nightclubs like Birdland, walked down the middle of Bailey Avenue randomly searching vehicles for drugs and guns, or popped into Pops Around the Corner late so that Melton could get the band to play Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" for him as he and his weapons swayed to the music in the middle of the dance floor.

Close to midnight, the MCC crept slowly down a narrow street in the Washington Addition so that Melton could show me a house he had visiting the week before that was in deplorable condition. The man who lives there does drugs, Melton said. Jaro and I followed closely, in our bulletproof vests, as the mayor's posse approached the house and spoke to the man who came to the door. Melton didn't have his guns drawn, but the bodyguards had their submachine guns at the ready. After speaking to the man, Melton walked past him, and we all went into the house where we interrupted another man in the back eating oatmeal and watching TV. Melton lectured him about smoking pot. After the first man told us they had bought the pot from a house a few doors down, Melton and the officers took off down there, as we followed at a bit of a distance.

The house was dark as Melton knocked on the door and walked in when a young man opened it, wiping his eyes. As Jaro and I held back (thinking that someone could easily start firing), the bodyguards, weapons drawn, searched around the house, then everyone gathered on the porch. Soon, Melton had the two young men and a young woman laughing nervously as he lectured them on the dangers of doing and selling drugs.

As We Sat Talking

The next week, I published my first interview with Melton—and a story about a glitch that occurred in the Wood Street murder trial, one that had him fit to be tied.

Melton had insisted that District Attorney Faye Peterson put his witness on the stand. Christopher Walker, 23, had said in his MBN interview that he had worked as Albert Donelson's "crash test dummy," basically a gofer who would do both errands and dirtier work for him and his brother. Melton had arrested Walker when he was director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (where he turned the agency's focus to cold murder cases, rather than drug arrests), and had decided to present Walker as the star witness in the case against the Donelsons. "Smiley," as Walker is called on the street, was to testify that Albert Donelson had called his cell phone from the Hinds County Detention Center in order to get his brother Terrell on the phone. Then, Walker claimed, Donelson ordered his brother to kill Aaron Crockett.

Until shortly before the trial, the state considered Walker a decent witness as well, even though he was a convicted felon. In this case, he would connect the two Donelsons, inside and outside jail, during the crime.

Then, mere days from the start of the trial, a motion rolled in from the defense with multiple attachments and a copy of the MBN interview with Walker. The affidavits, signed by a cousin of Walker, an MBN agent and others, alleged that Melton had paid and given Walker special treatment in return for his testimony. The financial benefits had included a "Frank E. Melton" credit card, an apartment in Ridgeland, a car, cash and other help—assistance that Melton did not deny giving Walker, saying that he had to "protect" him from the Donelsons.

"Under no circumstances could I leave him out there to be killed," Melton told me that week, adding: "Dern right. I did rent him an apartment, give him a credit card, (and) gave him money as recently as yesterday."

The affidavits said Melton had promised Walker a job as an MBN agent and allowed him to handle weapons at his home although Walker was on probation at the time.

In her response dropping Walker from the witness list, Peterson stated that he had perjured himself before the grand jury and had proved to be an unreliable witness—thus she could not legally use him.

Melton patently refused to accept the reasons that the D.A. couldn't put Walker on the stand, waging a public-relations campaign that week to blame the prosecution. He called me daily that week, often several times a day, saying that the D.A. was in cahoots with the Wood Street accused. He simply refused to acknowledge that his own actions with Walker might be hamstringing the case.

By Friday, the trial was over, the Donelsons and Benton were exonerated, and Melton was furious. I visited his home again after he held a press conference there lambasting Peterson for losing the case. As Anderson, Sandifer, Melton, a WJTV reporter and I sat talking at a round table in his bedroom, amid folded-up t-shirts and Jockey briefs, his bodyguards chased Abby up and down the long room.

As we sat talking, one of Melton's handguns lay across the room behind him, on his dresser next to the open door to his bedroom. The holster dangled from the hat rack.

Riding Shotgun

As that eventful week drew to a close, Melton had promised me that I could go on another Sunday raid with him, this time bringing photographer Kate Medley. He would call and tell me what time to meet, he told me as he left his house Friday night. (He had left me and photographer Pat Butler there Friday evening to visit with the young men who lived with him.)

By late Sunday afternoon, I hadn't heard from Melton and didn't know if the ride-along would happen. Finally, he called back on my cell phone. "You're in trouble," he growled.

"What did I do?"

"You reported all that stuff about Christopher Walker. You put his life at risk. Now Batman knows where he lives."

I had been the first reporter to explain what was going on with Walker and detail the problems with the case against him in my story that week. Melton was angry, but told me we could come that night anyhow.

By the time we met up with Melton that night—at a gas station in Midtown where he had just searched a young man's trunk and found pot on him—other media were lined up, following the Mobile Command Center around. No other reporters were on board, though; the Jackson Free Press was the first outlet to ask to ride along on the RV.

Kate and I climbed aboard the MCC, and immediately saw a long shotgun lying on one of the seats. I looked at her with raised eyebrows and with not a little trepidation being that Melton had not brought our bulletproof vests as he had promised (punishment, perhaps?). He sat in the front right seat staring straight ahead as the MCC pulled out. I went over to him and explained to him that it was a Donelson family member who told me about the court filings in the first place, outside the courtroom. Therefore, I reminded him, the defendants already knew where Walker was living, with or without my story out there. He loosened up slightly.

Turned out that Melton had earlier gone to the home of Albert Donelson's mother, Beverly Jackson, TV cameras in tow. Carrying a tan-colored shotgun and surrounded by the bodyguards with submachine guns and Abby on a leash, he had stalked up on her porch and yelled at her through the screen door. Watching a video of it later, I could hear him yelling, "Is somebody in here threatening me?" and screams of anguish coming from inside. She later went to the hospital; I would hear more details from a Donelson family member who called me on my cell phone as I again watched Melton and the officers search cars for guns and drugs near the Medical Mall. (Melton also told me that night that he was going to outlaw gun shows in Jackson; he would later learn that only the state can do that.)

As the MCC pulled up in front of an apartment building, Melton climbed out with his shotgun—that made three guns on him at once that night—and knocked on a door, then went inside. Outside I asked other media where the heck we were. "He's trying to arrest Christopher Walker," one told me.

I stared back in bewilderment. "You mean the Christopher Walker who's been living in his house? His star witness? Why is he arresting Walker?" I then explained why that was odd under the circumstances.

Melton never officially arrested Walker, although he talked a lot about doing it over the next few days—the best I could figure because so much had been revealed about him in my story and in an interview with Walker on WAPT. A few days after that little dust-up died down, on Good Friday, I returned to Melton's Northeast Jackson home to do a follow-up interview with him. Walker was hanging out in the living room with his girlfriend throughout the interview.

Then on May 2, Melton brought Walker to a press conference (during a Council meeting)—to harangue D.A. Peterson and accuse her of "f*cking" a former bail bondsman who was killed mysteriously, as Walker put it.

"Mrs. Peterson is trying to point the finger at me because of her incompetence," Melton said at the press conference. He also said she might be guilty of "possible corruption. … We're investigating that right now."

Melton, however, does not have legal authority to investigate the district attorney—and he has never reported any kind of results of such an investigation in the months since that day. For her part, Peterson addressed Melton's use of Walker to attempt to smear her in a later JFP interview: "[F]or someone to talk up under a lady's dress tail is not only morally wrong, but for (Melton) to sit there and condone that says a lot about his lack of character, his lack of morals and a lack of decency."

Six days after the press conference, U.S. Marshals re-arrested Walker for failing nine urinalysis tests, testing positive for marijuana and cocaine during the period leading up to the Wood Street trial when he was staying in Melton's house. Melton told WAPT after Walker's re-arrest: "My love for Christopher is unconditional. He's made mistakes, and if he makes more mistakes, he'll be punished. But I love this young man," Melton said.

'You Will Be Prosecuted'

Even though Melton had been carrying weapons into all kinds of venues and into all kinds of situations, and without state certification, a license or a concealed-weapons permit, the media hadn't made too big a stink about his gun penchant—and legal authorities had seemed to turn their heads.

Until the crazy month of April 2006.

After our next round of interviews and a narrative of my nights out with Melton in the Mobile Command Center appeared in the JFP—not to mention Kate Medley's cover of Melton holding his shotgun while on the Walker "arrest" search—suddenly people started paying attention to Melton and his "crime-fighting" tactics, especially the potential dangers of his gun-slinging.

Attorney General Jim Hood soon announced that he was investigating Melton. After several weeks of suspense, Hood called a press conference on May 31 to report his findings. He confirmed that Melton had no authority to carry weapons and said he had called Melton in and given him a stern warning. Reporters had seen Melton leaving Hood's office shortly before and Melton had put a good face on it, saying that the AG had given him some "advice."

Thus, word went out in the mainstream media that Hood had done little, that no arrests were being made, that the AG said that Melton "broke no laws." Melton had just applied for a concealed-weapons permit (not that he bothers to conceal most of his guns), and he would soon resume his nighttime raids, just as armed as ever.

It seemed, though, that reporters weren't actually reading Hood's letter to Melton—which set Melton up for future indictment if he put one toe over the legal line in his gun-toting habits. Hood came across a bit soft in his press appearance, but the letter was unflinching. It began:

"After reviewing allegations that your conduct in several particulars has exceeded lawful authority, our career prosecutors have identified several criminal statutes of which you need to be aware. Should sufficient, credible evidence arise in the future of any subsequent violation of the criminal statutes set forth herein, you will be prosecuted."

The letter then told Melton to leave police work "to the men and women who are trained to do that work," and warned that the mayor was subjecting himself to federal and state lawsuits by doing searches without probable cause. Also, he warned any evidence that Melton collected illegally would have to be suppressed under the law. "You do no favors by handing issues to defense attorneys on a silver platter," Hood wrote.

As for guns, Hood warned that Melton's new concealed-weapons permit "does not allow you to carry such a gun everywhere." He then listed the 19 places where Melton was prohibited from carrying a weapon—including jails, courthouses, public parks, police stations, schools and colleges, airports, churches, bars, government meeting places (such as City Hall) and "places of nuisance," which includes any place where illegal drugs are used or sold.

Parks, Churches and Schools, Oh My

Hood's letter did not seem to faze Melton. It wouldn't be long before he was back to his old ways, carrying weapons on raids—including one to supposedly look for Vidal Sullivan on June 28, accompanied by Brian Johnson of the JFP and a Los Angeles Times reporter. (U.S. marshals arrested Sullivan a few days later.)

Melton also did not seem concerned about the places Hood said he could not carry his weapons. Within two weeks, he would be caught by cameras violating the church and public-park prohibitions in short order: On June 13, he showed up at a Jackson Arts Council forum at St. Andrew's Cathedral downtown wearing a visible handgun—and was photographed by JFP photography intern Rickey Wright (who did not at first realize Melton was carrying a gun). Then on June 17, TV cameras filmed Melton carrying weapons into Jaycee Park, near Wood Street.

Earlier in the day on June 13, I had gone to Melton's house to pick up documents he wanted to show me—some involving alleged Wood Street Player crimes and others that would prove, he said, that he had a right to carry his weapons. Talking to me through his big iron gate, Melton told me then that AG Hood was overstepping his boundaries and that he would continue to carry weapons wherever he needed to. I also asked him about the threats he reported to Hood to explain why he needed the guns. Although he had played up threats against himself to Hood, he then downplayed them to me, saying that it was mainly one guy who had been angry with him and that they had gotten him some help.

"So you don't feel like you're under constant threat?" I asked him.

"Nah," he said, chuckling a little as his bodyguards joined in.

Melton gave me a folder of items to prove he had "the authority to do what I have to do within certain restraints." It contained a 1999 letter from former Director of Public Safety Jim Ingram saying he had been threatened while at WLBT and could, thus, carry weapons. It also contained a photocopy of an "Official Identification" from the Angelina County Sheriff's Department in Lufkin, Texas, dated Aug. 5, 1974, with "Frank Ervin Melton" listed as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff, and an MBN ID card saying he was an agent "empowered" "to carry firearms."

In response, Hood emphasized that Melton was not qualified as a law enforcement officer in Mississippi nor was certified in any way that would exempt him from gun laws, or the places he couldn't legally carry guns.

In July, it emerged that a Mississippi College law student and gun aficionado—Stephen Stamboulieh—had observed Melton wearing a weapon under his suit jacket when Melton spoke to there on Feb. 28, 2006. He appeared on Kim Wade's radio show on WJNT to discuss his concern about Melton's gun-toting tactics. If true, this would be a clear violation of the state laws regulating places where concealed weapons are forbidden.

Hitting the Fan

It would not be until late August, though, that Melton's world would start to unravel. And what brought it down had more to do with sticks and sledgehammers than it did with his guns.

The evening of Aug. 26 was long and busy for Melton and his MCC posse, which included several young men who work for the city doing yard and demolition work on houses and who jokingly refer to themselves as the Wood Street Players. (Most of them live on and around Wood Street.) Melton went to Evans Welch's duplex at 1305 Ridgeway Street twice that night, with witnesses saying he and his friends destroyed the duplex with the big stick and sledgehammers. Later that night, they went to the Upper Level nightclub, where bodyguards arrested Tonari Moore, the owner's son, who was then beaten by the young "Wood Street Players" next to the MCC while in handcuffs, witnesses say.

The revelations of that night didn't take long to draw indictments—which came down against Melton and his bodyguards on Sept. 15. On that day, AG Hood stepped up to announce the results of his office's probe of Melton's gun activities as well—misdemeanors for the church and the park and a felony due to his carrying the gun into the MC law school. In recent years, laws against anyone carrying a weapon into any kind of school have been toughened due to highly publicized school-shooting episodes, where the shooter could be either a student or an adult carrying a weapon into a school.

The gun charges, though arguably a lesser crime carrying only one felony charge—as opposed to the multiple felony accounts of Melton's burglary court case—could prove simple for prosecutors if they can prove that he was carrying guns in illegal places.

Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green put a gag order on the case, citing a fear of media coverage of the high-profile trial tainting the jury pool, so neither side can comment on the case, but John Oxford, assistant district attorney for Dallas County, Alabama, said the prosecutor's courtroom argument should be fairly cut and dried.

"The biggest question, I guess, that they would have to prove is did he possess (the weapon) at the time, was he in possession. The classic case around here in my state is a police officer coming across a gun found in glove box or something like that during a traffic stop. The argument can get fuzzy then because then here comes the defendant's argument that 'Well, it's my cousin's car,' or something like that. That's the argument we're usually up against," Oxford said. "I don't live there, and I'm not familiar with Mississippi law, but this situation (regarding Melton) doesn't sound like that. Proving the prosecution's case doesn't sound all that hard."

The biggest challenge is likely the felony charge—being that there is no reported video of photographs of him carrying the weapon, and it was apparently concealed under his suit. At least one student present that day posted on the JFP Web site that he did not himself see the weapon, and defense is expected to call students to testify that they did not catch a glimpse of it.

Meantime, Melton's probation forbids him to use police equipment, carry guns, drink alcohol, or have young people under 17 live in his home or be under his supervision.

If Melton is convicted of the gun-felony charge next week, he faces prison and will be removed from office. Regardless of that outcome, he then faces another trial next spring for his alleged actions on Ridgeway Street.

Additional reporting by Adam Lynch. Watch http://www.jacksonfreepress.com for daily blogging during the Melton gun trial.

Previous Comments

ID
80688
Comment

Good breakDown Of Events

Author
THEWATCHER
Date
2006-11-09T02:08:27-06:00
ID
80689
Comment

It's going to be very interesting to see how Danks will "muddy the water" in this case to try and get away from the real issues here. Melton seems to have his own set of rules and laws as far as crime fighting and child rearing. The speech that he gave at his inagural address encompassed city revitalization, crime fighting, education, and a host of other topics. Until he was "forced" from the streets, I have not seen anything except his passion to be the second rendition od Barney Fife. I don't recall any major drug busts under his admiistration. I don't recall seeing any drop in crime. I don't see people moving back into Jackson (could be because he hires from outside of the city as well). I don't recall seeing the mayor in ANY classrooms of the schools promoting education. I didn't hear him speak on the recently approved school bond issue whether he was for it or against it. His theatrics have been boring at best. He had given the entire nation a dim view of Jackson and it's residents. Now would be a good time to make good on some of his promises that he has failed on. IMO this would be a better way of convincing the public that he has Jackson's interest at heart, rather than trying to slam the DA's office.

Author
lance
Date
2006-11-09T11:30:47-06:00
ID
80690
Comment

Ladd, did you ever wonder why Melton invited so many people to his home on the day of the interview and also the day that you would ride with him on the Command Unit? This day's adventure would also include the Attorney, Smith, who was representing......"The surviving twin was riding along with us." Melton said it was to protect him from the murderers. This seems to be a case of connect the dots. Melton's familiarity with the drug/criminal world and its players is a bit too strange. If he knew all of these folks who were breaking the law, why weren't they charged when he was Director or MBN? Just Curious! Just Asking??????????

Author
justjess
Date
2006-11-09T14:46:25-06:00
ID
80691
Comment

I don't even know what to say anymore about old Frankie.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-11-09T16:58:49-06:00
ID
80692
Comment

justjess, the simply answer is that it seemed like he wanted me to see all these people around him. More complicated answers I do not have.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-10T12:42:14-06:00
ID
80693
Comment

Ladd, I guess I've watching too much "Law and Order." BIG SMILE! Have a great weekend.

Author
justjess
Date
2006-11-10T16:10:21-06:00
ID
80694
Comment

I hope like heck he's convicted, because if he isn't it'll make crimefighting and law enforcement impossible in Mississippi. I mean, if Frankie-boy can carry a gun anywhere he likes, why can't normal citizens? Frank has no special license to carry, and no right to. That being said, most Jacksonites seem to love their clown in chief, without regard to laws at all. Vengeance isn't justice.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-11-13T16:07:36-06:00
ID
80695
Comment

Interesting point. There could be very interesting precedent at stake.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-13T16:19:25-06:00
ID
80696
Comment

Ironghost I agree with you. This case could set precedent in the state. The Mississippi Supreme Court should be watching this. If Melton gets off, every lawyer afterward in this state will be able to use his case in favor of their clients aquittals. Whether they have good intentions or bad intentions.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2006-11-13T18:18:37-06:00
ID
80697
Comment

The acceptance of de facto national languages is sometimes used as a means of remaining unprejudiced or unbiased. In the United States, the federal government has not declared a national language. English is accepted as the de facto national language. To partially cope with this situation, the federal government has given states the right to declare their official language. This right is exercised, with New Mexico having declared both English and Spanish as their official languages ever since it became a state in the USA. Also, Louisiana uses French and English as official languages, and Hawaii uses Hawaiian and English as official languages. The person that chose to enter my house while we were working in Fondren and take my TV and a lot of other things that I've worked hard for. Frank can walk down my street every night gun in hand. I'm just glad we were at at work when theese guys came in our house.

Author
nai-bu tokai
Date
2006-11-15T04:26:11-06:00
ID
80698
Comment

If Melton gets off, this just might allow that guy who took all your stuff to carry around a gun also. I wouldn't be sad if it did either.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2006-11-15T14:18:14-06:00
ID
80699
Comment

"...as well as a 14-year-old white kid that Melton said had skipped school and was smoking marijuana in Melton’s home some years back. Melton told me that the teen then just “took a gun and killed himself.” “They were supposed to be in school,” he continued. “They skipped school, and the kid was playing with a gun, put it to his head and blew his brains out.” Melton did not say where the boy got the gun." ---WHERE DID THE KID GET THE GUN AND DRUGS FROM---WAS IT A PARTY??? IF THIS IS TRUE, IT'S CRIMINAL!!! IS ANYONE OUTRAGED?!!!! WAS THIS KILLING INVESTIGATED???!!!!

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2006-11-16T15:08:54-06:00
ID
80700
Comment

Was there any press on this story? Did the CL pick it up or our local TV stations? I remember hearing about this on the Kim Wade show when melton was running for office. Nothing since!!!!

Author
justjess
Date
2006-11-21T14:28:09-06:00
ID
80701
Comment

A lot of people are talking about it, it seems. But no other media have done anything that I've seen. I don't get the impression anyone ever asked a thing about Mr. Melton's kids and their living situation until we came along. I find that very sad. I never got around to podcasting more than one of our interviews. Maybe I ought to make that happen soon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-21T14:53:24-06:00
ID
80702
Comment

Again, one could ask: What in hell as the metro desk of The Clarion-Ledger been doing all these years!?!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-21T14:54:09-06:00
ID
80703
Comment

The only thing I can say is that melton should be glad that the JFP was not up and running at the time that kid "committed suicide." I say this because ladd and her group can hear a rat pi$$ on cotton in China and will let the world know what time he started, who was around and what time it ended. (SMILE-yet SERIOUS)

Author
justjess
Date
2006-11-21T15:07:17-06:00
ID
80704
Comment

I say this because ladd and her group can hear a rat pi$$ on cotton in China and will let the world know what time he started, who was around and what time it ended. The news staff here are ROTFLOAO over that one, justjess. Thank you. We aim to serve. ;-) I will say, one of the challenges of our job is to have to go backward and look at so much that happened in the past that the media didn't bother to pay attention to. We have to do that in order to give contextual, hardcore reporting about what's happening now. It is truly a trip to go into news archives and read the glowing news reports about MBN director Melton pulling JPD cops off the beat to help him "bring in" gang members (thus, likely ruining their testimony for the future, but they never mentioned that part). Just remarkable stuff. And it all goes back to my question before: What in hell as the metro desk of The Clarion-Ledger been doing all these years!?!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-21T15:52:42-06:00

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