Ninty-six-year-old Earl Tucker is the lead defendant in a lawsuit filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court of North Mississippi in Oxford against Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the state of Mississippi that challenges the Mississippi Voter Identification petition that is scheduled to appear on the November 2011 statewide ballot. The measure, if successful, would require photo identification at all voter polls in the state.
“I thought voter intimidation had long disappeared, but I was wrong,” Tucker said in the lawsuit. “I will fight to keep my rights.” (October 22, 2010, Page 2A)
Former Oxford businessman Dino Jerry Grisanti pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud Thursday in front of a federal judge.
According to court records, in January 2006, Grisanti, operator of the now-defunct Grisanti Rebel Motors in Oxford, attempted to defraud Regions Bank by concealing he had sold 66 vehicles worth $2,985,768. (October 22, 2010, Page 2A)
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors instructed county attorney David O’Donnell to file an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court against a final order given by a Circuit Court judge instructing them to not interfere with the operation of the county’s Drug Court.
The one-page appeal, filed Tuesday, says the supervisors are appealing the entire Final Order filed Sept. 21 by Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth but doesn’t list any specific parts of the order. The appeal was filed after the board voted 3 to 2 granting O’Donnell permission to file the appeal during an executive session earlier this month. Supervisors Robert Blackmon and Mike Pickens were the dissenting votes.
Howorth, who started Drug Court three years ago, filed a “cease and desist” in June against the supervisors from interfering with the operations of the Drug Court and the Circuit Court in general. Howorth claims the supervisors have continually interfered with the operations of the Circuit Court, almost from the day the current board took office in 2008. He also ordered the supervisors to comply with all reasonable requests made by and on behalf of the Drug Court pertaining to Drug Court funds administered by Lafayette County. (October 21, 2010, Page 1)
Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit’s Keith Davis, and the other investigators at Metro, are pushing adding “enhancement charges” to regular drug dealing charges. Enhancement charges include, selling drugs within 1,500 of a school or church or child endangerment, for selling drugs when a child is present.
An enhancement charge does just that — it enhances the sentence of the defendant if found guilty. Under state law, selling drugs within 1,500 feet of a church or school allows a judge to double the penalty.
Several suspects charged with dealing drugs were indicted during the September grand jury and have been given enhancement charges along with being indicted with selling drugs.
See these and other indictments handed down by the grand jury in today’s EAGLE. (October 20, 2010, Page 1)
Judge closes lawsuit against county
A lawsuit against former and current county officials claiming they railroaded former insurance agent Ken Nowlin into pleading guilty to crimes he didn’t commit, has been closed by a federal judge.
U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Aycock found in favor of the defendants and ordered the case closed.
UM former employee pleads
Ben Willians, a former employee of the University of Mississippi, pleaded guilty Friday for stealing more than $67,000 while working in the Dean of Students office, according to the indictment. He was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation. (October 13, 2010, Page 2)
To help introduce the nine candidates running in the contested judicial races in November, the TEA Party Oxford is holding a Judicial Candidates Forum on Monday at the Oxford Conference Center off Sisk Avenue.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a 30-minute session for the public to meet and talk to the candidates. The forum will begin at 7 with the moderator, Judge James L. Roberts Jr. from Pontotoc, asking each candidate five questions. (October 8, 2010, Page 3A)
Attorney Josh Turner wanted to give back to the community where he was born and raised.
Now he has his chance.
On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved hiring Turner to be the new public defender for the 3rd District Circuit Court, a position held for almost six years by attorney Ken Coghlan who resigned last month. (October 7, 2010, Page 5)
Seven local men where charged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services with 14 counts of illegal duck hunting.
According to the legal information filed Aug. 17 and unsealed Sept. 15 at the Federal Courthouse in Oxford, the men also killed several of the ducks and didn’t retrieve them. Investigators discovered eight mallard ducks hidden in an undisclosed location that were not tagged. (October 6, 2010, Page 6)
The man charged with breaking into several homes and stealing women’s lingerie has been denied bond.
Joseph Paul Lillo, of the Law Hills community in Marshall County, was arrested Sunday and charged with 11 counts of burglary for allegedly breaking into homes in the LOU area since June.
The Oxford Police Department has released the name of the man they claim has broken into about 14 homes in the LOU community since June, stealing the under garments of at least nine women.
Joseph Paul Lillo, 32, has been charged with nine counts of burglary and is being held at the Lafayette County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing this afternoon.
Lillo was arrested Sunday in Marshall County after investigators obtained a warrant when a witness reported seeing Lillo’s vehicle on Eagle Nest Lane on Saturday. A woman returning home at about 6 p.m. discovered her house had been broken into and that someone had stolen her panties. (October 4, 2010)