A six-and-a-half year old charge was thrown out of Circuit Court Thursday in Jones County when the defendant’s lawyer, Leslie Roussell, revealed to Judge Dal Williamson that his client didn’t even know she had a charge against her until she tried to go on a cruise.
Jamie Wilkerson, who served time with the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a couple of years starting in 2013 and has lived and worked in the Madison County, Miss., area for approximately four years since her release, filed for a passport recently to go on a cruise. To her surprise that request was denied, and she was informed that a warrant for her arrest was pending in Jones County for a burglary that occurred in February 2013. The indictment for her alleged involvement was never served to her by the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.
Judge Williamson put Wilkerson under oath and on the witness stand to hear the details of her case, and he learned from her and her attorney that a co-defendant in the case had passed away in 2017, nearly four years after the Grand Jury indicted her. The charge against her co-defendant was dropped, and testimony showed that his testimony would have been instrumental in clearing the charge against Wilkerson. Judge Williamson asked District Attorney Tony Buckley if he knew why the indictment was never served.
“No, sir,” the DA replied.
Roussell told the judge that as far as he could tell there was never any attempt to serve Wilkerson, and he added that it didn't seem that she had been entered into NCIC.
After hearing the testimony, the judge stated that there has been “no good cause demonstrated to this court” as to why the accused was not served.
Judge Williamson also noted from the bench that he wanted to clear up any misunderstanding that residents might have that the Court is bringing up old cases and dismissing them – it is not. He said that lawyers bring the cases before the Court when they feel like their clients have not been afforded a fair process as it relates to the right to a speedy trial, a right that is established by statute in our state.
“The timing of the motions is not the Court’s doing,” he said.