A right to speedy trial leads to charge dismissed for Mississippi man after year in limbo
Published 11:48 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023
Sixth District Circuit Court Judge Debra Blackwell on Thursday released her written order granting a motion to dismiss the state’s case against LeMichael Keyon Floyd for lack of a speedy trial.
Floyd was arrested Sept. 22, 2021, for aggravated assault. He was given a bond and made bail on that charge, Blackwell wrote. While out on bond, Floyd was arrested on a new charge of aggravated assault domestic violence on Oct. 5, 2022. He remained in jail since that second arrest, approximately 358 days.
“As of the hearing on Sept. 27, 2023, neither of the defendant’s cases have been presented to the Adams County Grand Jury, and he remains unindicted,” Blackwell wrote. “The Court finds that the defendant’s 358 days of incarceration since Oct. 5, 2022, is clearly presumptively prejudicial, and the state has failed to overcome that presumption.”
In her order, Blackwell wrote that the delays in the case were caused by the Natchez Police Department submitting incomplete files to the Attorney General.
Attorney Donovan Mitchell of the state’s attorney general’s office handled the case after Sixth District Attorney Shameca Collins recused herself because she is related to someone involved in the case.
“After six months, the first are still incomplete and there was no valid reason given,” Blackwell wrote in her order.
“The Court finds that he (defendant) has suffered prejudice in this matter by oppressive pretrial incarceration due to the fact of the Natchez Police Department’s failure to do their job in a timely and efficient manner. The Court also finds that the defense would be substantially impaired because of the length of time that the defendant has been incarcerated without indictment and without knowledge of what, if any, evidence may be use against him. The Court weighs this factor heavily against the State.”
Natchez Police Chief Cal Green was unavailable for comment.