BREAKING: Frank Melton Indicted on Felony Charges | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

BREAKING: Frank Melton Indicted on Felony Charges

Sources are telling the Jackson Free Press that Mayor Frank Melton has been indicted on at least one felony charge by a special grand jury this morning. Sheriff Malcolm McMillin and District Attorney Faye Peterson are expected to announce details at press conferences at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

12:24 p.m.: Mayor Frank Melton, Police Chief Shirlene Anderson and Chief of Staff Marcus Ward just walked into the Hinds County Courthouse.

Yesterday, District Attorney Faye Peterson confirmed that the county's investigation of Melton for the events of Aug. 26 and 27 -- the details of which were first reported by the JFP -- had been completed and was headed to the next available grand jury. The next official grand jury meets in October, but she told the Jackson Free Press yesterday that it's "always possible" that a grand jury could meet sooner to take up the evidence against Melton.

Update: Sheriff Malcolm McMillin has called a press conference in his office for 12:30 p.m., followed by a press conference by District Attorney Faye Peterson in Judge Tomie Green's courtroom.

Update #2: Update #2: Sheriff McMillin spoke for two minutes before beginning to take questions, telling the assembled media that Mayor Frank Melton was indicted on several felony charges, along with his bodyguards, Jackson Police Department detectives Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, who were indicted on one charge apiece. McMillin didn't specify the charges, but did say that all three men have posted bail and have been released. The D.A. is going to elaborate on the charges in her own press conference momentarily.

The Sheriff was asked about Melton's demeanor, to which he responded, "I could say he wasn't happy."

The sheriff, responding to a question, told reporters that he thought this was the first public official he'd arrested in his 15 years in office..."Mayor Melton and I have known each other for over 20 years, we've had a work relationship and our friendship goes back 20 years...but the law applies to everybody."

Donna Ladd asked McMillin why this seemed to be happening so quickly, rather than waiting for the next grand jury to convene in October.

"Because of the sensitivity of having the chief executive officer of the city of Jackson being accused of these violations...it was in the best interest (of the city) to deal with it now," he said.

McMillin said that while the three men were the only current indictments, the teenagers and other people present with Melton could still be charged. "There is that possibility."

McMillin noted that the list of indictments includes charges that were investigated separately by the Attorney General's office, although he didn't say which those were.

When asked by a reporter if these charges suggested that Melton's crimefighting techniques were outside the boundaries of acceptable law enforcement, he replied: "I think the grand jury made that decision when he was indicted."

More details here as they develop ...

Previous Comments

ID
123560
Comment

I was just going to post something about this. I think Faye is holding a presser sometime after McMillan according to published reports? I sure hope Ed Peters didn't get to them! He had a way of making things disappear when he was DA.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-15T12:02:42-06:00
ID
123561
Comment

No doubt: This is a different time. I can't help but think of these minors in the Youth Detention Center that Peters would not stand up for in front of a grand jury. There's something poetic going on here. Tragically poetic, but hey.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-15T12:06:23-06:00
ID
123562
Comment

Channel 12 is saying Melton is indicted. They will report more later. Hopefully before the noon newscast ends. It appears Peterson had a grand jury already empanelled and was waiting for the results from McMillin to indict his behind. Go Peterson!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T12:18:56-06:00
ID
123563
Comment

He's been indicted! WLBT showed him driving to the Courthouse! It is a little more sunny in Jackson today!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-15T12:22:59-06:00
ID
123564
Comment

It I wasn't so nice, respectful, and kind; I would say the sh1t finally hit the fan. I hope the body guards are going down too, but not before they're fired.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T12:28:52-06:00
ID
123565
Comment

Is it sad that this makes me happy soley because I can watch some NJAM-ers eat parts of their bodies? Because, I am. I'm also not going to feel that badly about it. Donna-I'm with you on the poetic justice. Karma will bite you in the ass every time. This is good news.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-09-15T12:29:25-06:00
ID
123566
Comment

Ray, what, exactly, does this mean for Melton?

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-15T12:37:56-06:00
ID
123567
Comment

I just remembered we're not supposed to be happy in the downfall of others. Ok, so I'm not happy, just glad. Also, if you see your brother down on the ground, you're not supposed to step on him or hold him down. You're supposed to pick him up, or hold him up, so he can face the charges pending again him standing up like a man. I could live with a deal to resign as mayor and get the hell out of Jackson. I'm going to call Charles Evers show the next time and tell him to get real. By the way, I like Charles Evers, too.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T12:44:38-06:00
ID
123568
Comment

This is indeed good (tragic for our city) news. Let's just pray that jurors are not bought off. I think that many of FM's lap-dogs are supporting him simply because he has millions. Sad to say, but money breeds corruption in SOME folks --- especially those who have never had it.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2006-09-15T12:48:03-06:00
ID
123569
Comment

WLBT is reporting LIVE on it right now.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2006-09-15T12:49:24-06:00
ID
123570
Comment

I think just as important as Melton being indicted is that his bodyguards will be going down too. They are as culpable as Melton by blindly following his lead.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-15T12:51:19-06:00
ID
123571
Comment

After indictment, an arraignment date is set where he has to plead not guilty then have a trial date set. People who admit guilt often try to plead guilty at the arraignment and get the matter over with. The law allows no such thing here. The attorney for the client usually makes the not guilty plea, get a trial date, then motions the prosecution for a copy of the discovery - the prosecution's file containing all of the facts. You then go thur the file with a fine tooth comb hopeful that you find something helpful to you, mistakes, or some basis for suppression of evidence, quashing the indictment, et al or an acquittal. If you can't find anything to file motions to suppress evidence or get the charges thrown out, you make a plea or go to trial. This is a quick picture of what happens.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T12:52:02-06:00
ID
123572
Comment

It's 12:47 pm and Channel 3 reporters are talking about the sheriff's press conference that's going on "right now". Why are they not covering it live?

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-09-15T12:52:13-06:00
ID
123573
Comment

Also, if you see your brother down on the ground, you're not supposed to step on him or hold him down. You're supposed to pick him up, or hold him up, so he can face the charges pending again him standing up like a man. Ray, I'm so tired of your posts making me laugh that I don't know what to do! Besides that, the whole ordeal is bittersweet to me. I want what's best for my city, but it's sad that we have to deal with this political soap opera just to take a step forward. I'm thankful that the justice system can work, but joy is not what I feel. Closure maybe, but not joy. Yeah, it's not over yet, but at least I can feel safer at home because I don't have to think about the possibility of an elected official busting my mama's house open like a walnut because he feels like it, and then get away with it.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-15T12:53:52-06:00
ID
123574
Comment

WLBT's Cheryl Lassiter (I hope I spelled her last name correctly) reported that the grand jury was convened this morning--WOAH!!!!!!

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2006-09-15T12:55:06-06:00
ID
123575
Comment

Does anyone know why the FBI is looking into FM?

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2006-09-15T12:56:36-06:00
ID
123576
Comment

Does anyone what he's being charged with?

Author
Justin
Date
2006-09-15T12:56:46-06:00
ID
123577
Comment

The idictment means formal charges are now filed against you, the DA intends to convict you, and you better hope the hell you're able to avoid a conviction, else you might go to jail depnding on whether the crime carries any mandatory time or not. If no mandatory time attached to crime, and a first time offender, the judge could sentence you to something short of going to prison.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T12:57:03-06:00
ID
123578
Comment

I think because a violation of one's civil rights is a federal offense. And rumor has it that they are looking beyond that.

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-09-15T12:58:10-06:00
ID
123579
Comment

thanks, Ray for the information. you are much appreciated...

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-09-15T12:59:19-06:00
ID
123580
Comment

Donna is down at the Sheriff's office now and he hasn't actually started the press conference yet (1:02pm) so that may be why WLBT isn't covering it :-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-15T13:02:47-06:00
ID
123581
Comment

WLBT's Cheryl Lassiter (I hope I spelled her last name correctly) reported that the grand jury was convened this morning--WOAH!!!!!! Should have added ;) Do you think she read the JFP first?

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2006-09-15T13:05:59-06:00
ID
123582
Comment

Thanks, Todd. I was beginning to wonder if it was because of their relationship to Melton. ;-) I guess this also means Peterson's press conference will be delayed.

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-09-15T13:06:51-06:00
ID
123583
Comment

This a sad day for the city of Jackson in that there were so many people that believed in Melton, not they have to face the facts. I don't believe that Houdini Melton can slip out of this one. If he still has a shread of decency left within himself, then step down and deal with the aftermath of his hardheadedness. Melton knows within his own heart what he has done and what he has not. He is still trying to fight a losing battle. He only "understands" right from wrong when his ass is in trouble. I wonder how many people in jail right now would agree that Melton should be forgiven and start over? If Melton would face his demons right now, the sooner the healing process will begin and the city can start to move forward. I can only hope that he will not try and go out with a blaze of glory and cost the city of Jackson any more humiliation.

Author
lance
Date
2006-09-15T13:08:20-06:00
ID
123584
Comment

You're probably right Kacy. But I doubt both the state and feds would prosecute him. One often waits to see what the other one does. How crazy is this for a grown and successful man to screw up this badly. And one who was warned to boot. If I were Frank, once bonded out, I'd go back to my house or office, call all my staff in, then cuss evryone of them out for letting me screw up this monumentally. I might even fire all of them before i go down.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T13:10:20-06:00
ID
123585
Comment

I am completely saddened at the turn of events for the city of Jackson (not for Melton). The wheels of justice are sometimes slow, however, in this instance they have moved at lightening speed. Regarding Melton - Every person should be held to accountability for their own actions....in this respect, he gets what he deserves. You CANNOT violate the civil rights of any person and feel free to continue your reign of terror. I do, however, feel sorry for his family members that will have to be drawn into the fiasco of Frank. Regarding the City of Jackson....I see this turn of events as further placing this city in the position of ridicule and being viewed in a negative light. This was once a great city and it is tragic to see how quickly we have fallen in such a short period of time!

Author
Katie D
Date
2006-09-15T13:15:30-06:00
ID
123586
Comment

Am I the only one here that thinks this simply reflects on Frank's a$$iness and not Jackson's? We have a crazy mayor, yes. But we still have a great city.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-09-15T13:18:20-06:00
ID
123587
Comment

You are so right Ali! We need to continue to look out for the brave citizens who made this happen and to remember that they are the direct victims of Melton's felony actions. Ooo... felony crimes... that just sounds good! First order of business, if we get an interm mayor, is to get rid of Marcus Ward, Carolyn Redd, and others closest to Melton. They may have to keep the Chief's for awhile; but, the new mayor needs to trim the Melton fat from City Hall! I think it is important that something happens to the "guests" of Melton's on the MCC in case they make it worst. I hope that DHS takes steps to get those children out of his house. But, I doubt it!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-15T13:22:13-06:00
ID
123588
Comment

(Reports in from Donna and Brian...added to main story above.) Update #2: Sheriff McMillan spoke for two minutes before beginning to take questions, telling the assembled media that Mayor Frank Melton was indicted on several felony charges, along with his bodyguards, Jackson Police Department detectives Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, who were indicted on one charge apiece. McMillian didn't specify the charges, but did say that all three men have posted bail and have been released. The D.A. is going to elaborate on the charges in her own press conference momentarily. The Sheriff was asked about Melton's demeanor, to which he responded, "I could say he wasn't happy." The Sheriff, responding to a question, told reporters that he thought this was the first public official he'd arrested in his 15 years in office..."Mayor Melton and I have known each other for over 20 years, we've had a work relationship and our friendship goes back 20 years...but the law applies to everybody."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-15T13:23:28-06:00
ID
123589
Comment

Yes, there is a reason that Mac has held onto his career as long as he has. Thanks for the updates, Todd.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-09-15T13:28:50-06:00
ID
123590
Comment

Donna asked McMillian why this seemed to be happening so quickly. "Because of the sensitivity of having the chief executive officer of the city of Jackson being accused of these violations...it was in the best interest (of the city) to deal with it now," he said. He said that while the three men were the only current indictments, the teenagers and other people present with Melton could still be charged. "There is that possibility."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-15T13:35:03-06:00
ID
123591
Comment

We have a crazy mayor, yes. But we still have a great city. -Ali Greggs You are so right Ali. Thanks for insert of reality into this nightmare. The citizens of Jackson are the best in the world (I am a lifelong citizen). I have been a great number of places, but there's no place like home.

Author
lance
Date
2006-09-15T13:36:43-06:00
ID
123592
Comment

McMillan noted that the list of indictments brought includes charges that were investigated separately by the Attorney General's office, although he didn't say which those were. When asked by a reporter if these charges suggested that Melton's crimefighting techniques were outside the boundaries of acceptable law enforcement, he replied: "I think the grand jury made that decision when he was indicted."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-15T13:37:58-06:00
ID
123593
Comment

Just saw on WAPT that Melton's been indicted on 5 felony counts, and his bodyguards on 1 felony count each. Melton showed up to turn himself in riding in the back seat of Dale Danks' Jaguar. As the car passed the cameras, FM waved out the window at them.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-15T13:42:15-06:00
ID
123594
Comment

Hopefully, Donna, Brian, Todd or somebody form JFP will be visiting the mayor at his home soon to interview him. I wouldn't go alone if I were you, and you shouldn't send anyone with sensitive ears. Frank's place is probably the cussing capital of world about right now. I hope the whole entourage that was engaged in these wrongdoings goes down. I'm out!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T13:43:12-06:00
ID
123595
Comment

I think WAPT is planning on airing Peterson's press conference live. It's obviously been delayed.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-15T13:44:22-06:00
ID
123596
Comment

I just heard he couldn't be in the company of children, not his, any more.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T13:46:57-06:00
ID
123597
Comment

That the one I was waiting on, Ray. I wanted that most of all. Beyond that, I would pay good money to see Reico in handcuffs...take from that what you will. I think the kids that Melton is "fostering" being in a safer environment is the most important thing.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-09-15T13:49:09-06:00
ID
123598
Comment

New thread posted... http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=10753_0_27_0_C

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-15T13:49:38-06:00
ID
123599
Comment

Frank can't keep the pimpmobile. This ain't right. He can't live without that.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-15T13:50:51-06:00
ID
123600
Comment

Ray, you are right about not stepping on your brother when he is down. However, at 2:30 on the Plains of Auburn tomorrow, Auburn will not be my brother.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-15T13:56:44-06:00
ID
123601
Comment

All I can say is: Thank God. Boy, did I ever underestimate our sheriff. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-15T13:57:55-06:00
ID
123602
Comment

This is why you don't fly off the handle and throw insults or charges at some of our leaders. I suspect some if not all of the city council members had a pretty good idea what was going down. I am not surprised at McMillan. I don't see him falling down for anyone, especially this kind of crap. He doesn't put up with alot of stuff and looking the other way on these antics is something I do not see him doing. Just relax, things are taking care of themselves.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-15T14:03:37-06:00
ID
123603
Comment

Just spoke to a vendor on the phone about doing some work for me, and the 1st thing out of his mouth was 'WELLLLLL, looks like we've got an indictment!!' I bet everybody all over the city is buzzing about this. I said to this guy, 'Do you think it will be possible to find a fair minded jury?' He said something I thought was really interesting. He suggested breaking up the charges, and trying them separately. Instead of putting this in hands of 12 people, make it 36 or 48 people. I'm sure that would make the process more costly, but, how much is justice worth? Ray, you're expert. Is that a possibility?

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-15T14:09:57-06:00
ID
123604
Comment

**I just heard he couldn't be in the company of children, not his, any more.** <-- Ray Carter Ray, does our resident legal beagle think that this restriction might portend something (a charge or allegation perhaps) that has not yet been reported?

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-09-15T14:10:59-06:00
ID
123605
Comment

he was charged with directing underage kids to break the law. That alone is probably sufficient for that condtion. Don't read too much in to that one. That is probably all it is.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-15T14:12:32-06:00
ID
123606
Comment

I was busy at work and didn't notice what was going on until now. Wow.

Author
Ex
Date
2006-09-15T14:13:22-06:00
ID
123607
Comment

Work, schmork. I've got a blogging addiction to indulge...

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-15T14:14:45-06:00
ID
123608
Comment

Breaking news fron WJTV - Melton is out on a $50,000 bond. They said you can see the DA's press conference in its entirety at WJTV.com. Now they have a screen crawl too.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-15T15:03:55-06:00
ID
123609
Comment

Is there any talk of who the City Council might appoint as Mayor if they can get him to resign?

Author
Rob
Date
2006-09-15T15:03:55-06:00
ID
123610
Comment

Marshand is bucking for the immediate appointment by the city council, and possibly running in the special election, if Frank is forced out, resigns, convicted or whatever gets him out.

Author
E
Date
2006-09-15T15:13:18-06:00
ID
123611
Comment

Breaking news fron WJTV - Melton is out on a $50,000 bond. They said you can see the DA's press conference in its entirety at WJTV.com. That broke at 3pm, LW? Hmm...I guess it isn't real news until it's on TV. :-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-15T15:17:23-06:00
ID
123612
Comment

That broke at 3pm, LW? Hmm...I guess it isn't real news until it's on TV. :-) Sometimes it takes a while for WJTV to get their breaking news out. I guess they're trying to verify sources first or something. I had been flipping stations since 12:30 to see if there would be any special reports, and WAPT was the first one I saw. I don't know if they were actually first, but that's who I saw first.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-15T15:21:59-06:00
ID
123613
Comment

"Marshand is bucking for the immediate appointment by the city council, and possibly running in the special election, if Frank is forced out, resigns, convicted or whatever gets him out." 'E' So? He was a very good Council President. What's the problem?

Author
malt
Date
2006-09-15T16:31:55-06:00
ID
123614
Comment

I'm not saying Marshand would make a bad interim mayor, I was just answering a question that was posted, or at least answering it to the best of my knowledge.

Author
E
Date
2006-09-15T16:50:54-06:00
ID
123615
Comment

Did anyone happen to see the newscast by WLBT tonight? They actually claimed--twice--that they broke the Ridgeway story. Now if you look at our original story on Ridgeway, you can see that it was posted at 4:40 p.m. that Friday. WLBT reported the story 10 p.m., 5 hours after the JFP reported on it. That is equivalent to 17,000 years in TV time. One thing is for damned sure: they did not break the story. Or are they claiming that they broke into regular programming at 4:30? May I see the tape? Keep in mind that we had done all the footwork on the story by the early afternoon. It's quite likely that the only reason WLBT started chasing the story is that we were calling all over the place seeking confirmation. Even if they started to chase it on their own, they did not break it. Adam Lynch broke the story and everyone knows it. Maybe I could give them a little wiggle room if they had run the story at 5 p.m., but they were nowhere near ready by then. WLBT has done an excellent job beating other media--in chasing our stories. You'll notice that they were the first after the JFP to talk to Evans Welch. But who are they kidding?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-15T22:23:28-06:00
ID
123616
Comment

I was watching the WAPT report. Very good, very long! Yeah, I don't know where WLBT is coming from? Someone did call Kim Wade on the Thursday before and mentioned something; but that doesn't constitute breaking a story when on the fly talk radio is not able to back up callers comments. Though all those who were willing to go out in the public with this deserve kudos for their work!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-15T22:38:02-06:00
ID
123617
Comment

Anyone interested in discussing media attribution issues, head on over to the Public Eye, where I've started a new thread on the subject.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-15T23:15:57-06:00
ID
123618
Comment

just saw the poll on CL website. So Melton is being politically persecuted? Brother. Oh well, am sitting here in Montgomery actually sober although that won't be the case by 11 AM. GEAUX TO HELL AUBURN!!!!! Next time someone calls in whining about Melton, just throw Elian Gonzales at them. I bet those same callers were raving about Clinton and Reno violating due process, being arbitrary, capricious when that raid took place but its ok now cuz its in the hood.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-15T23:29:18-06:00
ID
123619
Comment

just DON'T put Harvey Johnson back in office!!!! whatever anybody does...if you wanna get rid of Frank fine..hope you're happy. but don't go backward

Author
goldeneye
Date
2006-09-16T01:01:58-06:00
ID
123620
Comment

I'm back at a combo grandmother's b-day/family reunion of sorts this weekend -- but one of my SW Miss relatives did tell me about Melton yesterday evening. I was quite surprised, but not shocked that this would happen. The one bright spot in this is that we don't have to say it took the Feds to arrest him, but "merely" the local Sherriff!! Hinds Co. was definitely on the ball this time. PS While I won't compare this to civil rights prosecutions, it is interesting that when we have a questionable mayor facing arrest from the COUNTY law enforcement, we can safely say that Mississippi (Hinds, if noone else) local govt has come a long way in self-accountablilty. Lets hope this is a harbinger for the 21st Century Mississippi!

Author
Philip
Date
2006-09-16T20:32:24-06:00
ID
123621
Comment

If we all remember , Frank stayed in trouble before all this and the persons who voted for him thought he was sincere and ready to do the job to stop drugs...well drugs may have been the issue but what about the other crimes that were not dealt with, like burglaries, purse snatchers and car jackers. When you voted for Frank he said that he was going to put this city back together but when he tried then everyone was against him. I'm not saying he was right for what he did, but what he did right it was ignored. And who is this Shirlene Anderson? The shadow of Frank. Afraid that she doesn't know either.

Author
Clif
Date
2006-09-19T20:57:39-06:00
ID
123622
Comment

Well, it looks like the Board of Supervisors is starting to play games with the DA too. They or their office leaked a memo from Faye Peterson in regards to a request for an unmarked car due to veiled threats. Peterson said that the leak of the memo "shows a lack of leadership on (the board's) part." "That is a delicate situation for me," she said. Peterson would not comment on the nature of the threats. In the memo, she said, "heightened media attention and vague threats by various individuals in the community" had her seeking "some sense of anonymity" in commuting to the Hinds County Courthouse. The story points out that law may not allow for an unmarked car; but of course this didn't keep Melton confidant, Doug Anderson, from interjecting his tactful opinion: "If we can't do it, then it's a moot point and we do not need to waste our time," Board President Doug Anderson said. Yesterday, the Ledge ran a story on this reporting that Faye had requested the car per a memo, dated Sept. 28, 2006, to the BOS. Today, we find out that memo was leaked to the press. I think this turn of events should raise eyebrows about Doug Anderson and or other members/employees of the BOS. I doubt some Supervisors and their staff have Faye or the victims’ best interest at heart.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-10-05T09:20:46-06:00
ID
123623
Comment

Here is WLBT's report from yesterday on the Peterson memo. There is no mention of the memo being "leaked" at the time of the report.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-10-05T09:36:41-06:00
ID
123624
Comment

Pike, its going to get ugly.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-05T09:40:59-06:00

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