The last two of four men charged with beating and killing Derald “Pete” Connell have pleaded guilty. Douglas W. Jones, 22, and Justin Eugene Montez, 26, were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for their role in the deadly beating. Also pleading guilty Wednesday in unrelated cases were Oxford attorney Michael Wall for two counts of cocaine possession and Lou Ann White for beating her husband, Henry White, to death last year. (April 21, 2011, Page 1)
Due to a high amount of publicity, a Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge has ordered the murder trial of Caleb Corrothers to be moved to another county. Corrothers is charged with killing Frank and Taylor Clark in July 2009. (March 1, 2011, Page 1)
After 24 years of serving Lafayette County as its Circuit Court Clerk, Mary Alice Busby has decided to turn the job over to whomever the voters believe will be the best person for the job. Busby decided she would not seek reelection during the holidays.
However, more than 20 people have already thrown their hats into the election ring in the first 48 hours of the qualification period that began on Monday. (January 6, 2011, Page 1)
Candidates wishing to run for a county office can begin registering on Monday. The deadline to register for county races is March 1, according to deputy circuit court clerk Baretta Mosely. The qualifying deadline for state races is June 1.
Races on this year’s ballot in the county are for sheriff, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor/collector, coroner, constables, supervisors, Justice court judges, election commissioners and school board members. (January 3, 2011, Page 1)
Leaton David Scott Moore, 30, was the owner of Blind Pig Tavern when a University of Mississippi female student claimed Moore drugged her drink and took her home so he could have sex with her. He was arrested on Nov. 14, 2008, and indicted by the grand jury in February 2009 and charged with sexual battery. (December 23, 2010, Page 2A)
An FBI agent in Oxford claims a former federal prosecutor and a political blogger made false statements against him in a book they wrote about the judicial bribery scandal involving former trial attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs.
Oxford attorney Christi McCoy filed the suit on Dec. 2 in Lafayette County Circuit Court on behalf of her client, Philip Halbert “Hal” Neilson.
The suit names authors Tom Dawson and Alan Lange and the publishing company, The Pediment Group, and claims in the book, “King of Torts,” Dawson, a retired U.S. assistant attorney, lied and made slanderous statements about Neilson in his book in retaliation for Neilson filing an official complaint against Dawson in 2001. (December 10, 2010, Page 2A)
Midterm elections generally don’t bring high percentages of voters out to the polls.
“Typically in the past it’s been fairly low,” said Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Mary Alice Busby.
But this year, Busby expects the turnout to be higher.“We’re had a much large amount of absentee voters for this election,” she said.
All 18 voter precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. The deadline to register to vote has passed and Busby said there are no last minute registrations.
There are 24,235 people registered to vote in Lafayette County. (November 1, 2010, Page 1A)
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)
The last day to register to vote in the upcoming general election on Nov. 2 is this Saturday.
The Lafayette County Circuit Clerk’s Office will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday to accommodate last-minute voter registrations.
Those wishing to vote absentee must have their ballots mailed in enough time for them to be at the Circuit Clerk’s Office by Nov. 1. The office will be open 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30 to allow voters to come in and vote absentee. (September 29, 2010, Page 1)