COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — One set of felony costs towards a Georgia district lawyer is being dismissed, though he nonetheless faces extra severe costs.
A mistrial was declared final week in Mark Jones’ trial on costs of first-degree felony injury to authorities property and interfering with authorities property after the choose discovered witnesses have been improperly watching video of the trial earlier than testifying.
Jones is district lawyer for Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee, Marion, Talbot, and Taylor counties.
Prosecutor Brian Patterson advised visiting Decide Jeffery Monroe on Monday he determined to dismiss the costs after listening to some jurors from the mistrial felt the case was politically motivated.
“I now not consider it’s within the curiosity of justice to maneuver ahead with this matter,” Patterson stated, in keeping with WRBL-TV.
One juror told the Ledger-Enquirer after the mistrial that it was a “waste of time” to pursue costs involving injury to a car parking zone that was allegedly triggered in the course of the filming of a 2020 marketing campaign video for Jones.
Jones was indicted again earlier this month on costs that he tried to get a police officer to deceive a grand jury to improve an involuntary manslaughter cost to homicide, tried to bribe prosecutors in his workplace and tried to affect and forestall the testimony of against the law sufferer. Jones can be charged with DUI, reckless driving and inflicting damage following a November 2019 crash by which police stated Jones was driving drunk.
The costs set to be dismissed relate to a Might 2020 video for his election marketing campaign that included stunt driving strikes corresponding to automobiles driving in doughnuts with smoking tires within the car parking zone of the Columbus Civic Middle. The indictment alleged Jones was accountable for injury to the car parking zone.
Harm was initially valued at $300,000, the price of repaving the complete car parking zone. Through the abortive trial, metropolis officers positioned the damages at nearer to $2,500, the associated fee to re-stripe the world the place the video was filmed.
Patterson stated he nonetheless believes that “direct and circumstantial proof” signifies Jones and codefendant Erik Whittington are responsible, however that juror sentiments weigh towards additional prosecution.
“They have been involved about how politics have come to bear on this case, that it is a felony prosecution, that it seems that another people equally located haven’t been prosecuted in an identical method for this sort of conduct, and that Muscogee County has different urgent felony justice issues and considerations,” Patterson advised the courtroom in the course of the on-line listening to.
Mark Shelnutt, a lawyer representing Whittington, stated a brand new trial would have nonetheless had the identical points as a result of witness testimony was corrupted.
Three different defendants — Christopher Black, Chris Garner and Jonathan Justo-Botello — pleaded responsible earlier to misdemeanor costs of felony trespass and laying drag, a Georgia crime that covers a spread of driving offenses.
William Kendrick, a lawyer representing Whittington, stated the convictions towards the opposite three males must be overturned.