Nearly year after Mississippi judge shot outside courthouse, police arrest suspected shooter

Published 10:29 pm Friday, March 12, 2021

A Mississippi man was arrested Friday and charged with shooting a judge outside a courthouse last year.

Chancery Court Judge Charles Smith was shot outside the Lauderdale County Courthouse March 16, 2020.

Agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation charged Ernest Edwards, 41, of Meridian, with attempted capital murder.

MBI agents working in conjunction with the district attorney’s office and the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office developed information throughout the investigation, which led to the issuance of an arrest warrant on Friday.

Edwards was being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center and is not eligible for a bond due to the nature of the crime and other pending charges.

“This investigation is a testament to the collaborative efforts made by state and local law enforcement,” said Lieutenant Colonel Lee Morrison, Director of MBI.

“MBI will continue to work with the District Attorney’s office to ensure a successful prosecution,” said Commissioner Sean Tindell. “I encourage anyone that may have any information regarding this investigation to contact MBI, the Lauderdale County Sheriff Department (601-482-9893), or the East MS Crime Stoppers (855-485-8477).”