SuperTalk Mississippi

Trial against Hinds County DA wraps for the week

JACKSON, Miss.- The trial against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has been going on for four days, and now jurors prepare to take a long weekend before coming back on Tuesday. 

On the fourth day of the trial local media reported that the Hinds County Detention Center Warden, Major Mary Rushing took the stand.

A slew of text messages between Rushing and Smith were shown to the court. The text message content contained requests from Smith to have a meeting with Christopher Butler, the man whose trial Smith is accused of hindering prosecution for.

“I had never been contacted about anything in that particular manner, like that,” Rushing said. “So what I did, because I didn’t know what was going on, I contacted Sheriff Mason.”

Rushing said she had never handled a situation or request like that in the past.

After her testimony Hinds County Deputy Juan Chapa took the stand. He was the leader in a drug sweep at the downtown Jackson Detention Center back in June.

When the sweep was conducted a cell phone was found in Butler’s jail cell. They also found a letter addressed to his attorney, from Smith.

Butler’s former attorney Sanford Knott was asked if he had ever seen a district attorney advocate for a defendant before. His response:

“Certainly I understand the role of a prosecutor,” he said. “Certainly they have to make sure justice is done but in direct response to your question, the answer is no.”

Knott did however say Smith met with Butler, but Knott was not present for that meeting and no details were released.

Court will resume on Tuesday after the Christmas holiday.

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