Capping a rather remarkable two-week news cycle in Jackson, District Attorney Robert S. Smith today dismissed murder charges against Sharrod Moore, whom Smith had indicted twice for the murder of police officer Robert J. Washington. The state is formally dismissing the case on May 20, 2009, due to insufficient evidence, and, according to the order today signed by Circuit Court Judge Swan Yerger, will "place into the record its reasons for the dismissal" then. Defense counsel requested that Moore be released pending the May 20 hearing, The state did not oppose that request but requested that Moore "stay confined to his house except for visiting his attorneys and that he maintain contact with his attorneys." Yerger's order stated that the court had contacted Washington's wife to advise her that the charges were dropped.
See more on the R.J. Washington case here.
I'm confused. How does a case in which Mr. Smith told us he had plenty of evidence miraculously be dismissed for lack of evidence? In today's CL, Smith said that some of his witnesses had convictions. Excuse me, but they had those convictions prior to indicting the case. His star witness was incarcerated when Smith took his statement. This is a perfect example of one or two things. Either a prosecutor not having the nerve not to indict a case in which Melton made the arrest OR a prosecutor that is not competent enough to gauge the prosecutorial merit of a case. I can remember as if it was yesterday when Melton and Smith were there together bragging about cracking the cold case in a press conference. This was yet another example of grandstanding at the expense of others. By others I mean Washington's widow and son. It's sad they have had to go through this emotional roller coaster just so Melton and Smith could make a headline. Smith not only indicted the case once but he reindicted it a second time. How can you present a case to the grand jury twice and not realize that you have no evidence? Isn't the timing of the dismissal strange? I wonder if Smith would have dismissed the case if Melton had not passed away last week? The county has spent thousands of dollars on representation for Moore and thousands of dollars on testing of evidence all for naught. Am I the only person that is perturbed by this?
No, I am mighty concerned about this, and you will be hearing from me soon on it. Hang tight.
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