Feds to Pay Recio's Legal Fees | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Feds to Pay Recio's Legal Fees

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Former mayoral bodyguards Michael Recio, pictured, and Marcus Wright are challenging court-ordered restitution.

The federal government will take up the burden of Michael Recio's mounting legal expenses. Cynthia Stewart, Recio's attorney, requested that the court appoint her as a public defender, and yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson granted her request. Recio is the former bodyguard of Mayor Frank Melton, and is Melton's co-defendant in a federal case based on their roles in the 2006 destruction of a Ridgeway Street duplex.

In her March 31 filing, Stewart argued that Recio's monthly salary of $2,168, his base pay as a Jackson Police officer on leave, is not sufficient to cover his $4,548 in monthly expenses, which include a $1,689 monthly mortgage payment.

After reviewing a detailed financial affidavit, which Stewart filed under seal yesterday, Anderson ruled that Recio's financial resources were insufficient for him to afford qualified representation himself.

"In determining whether such insufficiency exists, consideration should be given to the cost of providing the person and his dependents with the necessities of life," Anderson wrote in her order.

In the case against Recio and Melton, federal prosecutors allege that they violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The two defendants beat different state charges for the Ridgeway incident in 2007, and their first federal trial ended in a hung jury in February. A re-trial will begin May 11, with a jury selected from the entire Southern District of Mississippi.

Anderson also ruled against a motion by Stewart to compel the government's production of internal memos. Stewart argued that the government's successive prosecutions of Recio violated internal policies of the Department of Justice. Any evidence of the government's rationale for prosecuting Recio could exculpate her client, Stewart argued.

Anderson rejected Stewart's reasoning and agreed with prosecutors that the government was not required to produce its own internal communications in the case.

"Defendant Recio cites no authority which would allow the discovery of any such materials, although he contends they are ‘relevant and potentially exculpatory,' " Anderson wrote in her order.

Previous Comments

ID
145929
Comment

Please Judge just drop the charges against Recio and Wright. People know that Frank force them into following his directions or they would have been fired. They may have been wrong but when you constantly live in fear and you know how revengeful Melton is than it is no wonder why they acted the way they did. They had no choice be employed or be fired and black listed as Melton and his supporters have done to people. I know this is true because it was what was done to me because I would not lie for them on this same issue that Recio and Wright face legal action. It's just a shame that so many people are being hurt due to the arrogance of on person, Melton!

Author
Tony Davis
Date
2009-04-15T14:44:58-06:00
ID
145955
Comment

Wright and Recio had a choice and as adults they knew right from wrong. Look at Brendon Bell...he was hanging with Frank at first and then smartly walked away. If you lay down with dogs you have to be willing to get fleas.

Author
classy
Date
2009-04-16T07:52:42-06:00
ID
145956
Comment

I agree that the charges against Recio and Wright should be dropped. Melton is a very powerful force in Jackson and these men may not have felt that they had a choice. Sure, there could have been things that should have done differently, but this man was their superior. I feel really sorry for them. As for Brenden, he is a really smart guy and I gurantee you that he knows he has choices. In addition, he is surrounded by strong people that continuously give him their true and honest advice. He is a horse of a different breed, no comparison.

Author
Tell it!
Date
2009-04-16T08:20:27-06:00
ID
145957
Comment

Boo. hoo. hoo. Wright and Recio benefited greatly from their association with Melton, right up until it blew up in their faces. Wright's testimony makes it clear that they knowingly violated the law on Melton's behalf. Now they must face the consequences. Wright deserves mercy because he did the right thing and told the truth. Recio deserves none.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-04-16T08:29:57-06:00
ID
145972
Comment

Boo,hoo,hoo. Wright and Recio benefited greatly from their association with Melton, right up until it blew up in their faces. ....and that my friend IS THE BOTTOM LINE!

Author
justjess
Date
2009-04-16T11:45:32-06:00
ID
145985
Comment

Reico can make a deal like Wright. He was a sworn police officer who was to serve and protect the citizen of the city. He need to take responsible for his part like Wright and accept whatever punishment comung his way.

Author
daw
Date
2009-04-16T16:20:32-06:00

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