Hinds County DA Robert Smith prepares for trial in Rankin County

November 2, 2017 in News

By Othor Cain,


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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith appeared in a Rankin County court room Monday, before Judge John Emfinger,  prepared to fight.

For most people, preparing for and going through one trial would be enough to say, “I’m done…this is too much.” Not Smith. For most people going through one trial would be enough to say, “you can have what you want…whatever you want me to do, I will do it.” Not Smith. This is the third trial for Smith where the state will attempt to convict him on felony charges, though the charges this time around are completely different.

Smith is determined by any means necessary, to clear his name and continue working for the people of Hinds County. “The citizens of Hinds County voted for me and I am determined to set an example and not let them down,” Smith said. “You have to stand up for your rights and not just let them walk over you.”

Smith embodies the very definition of Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” “My faith is strong and when you know you’ve not done anything wrong, you have to depend on a higher power,” Smith told me during his last trial.

Smith has pulled together a team of attorneys to address the latest charges in Rankin County. He’s being charged with one count each of aggravated stalking and robbery and two counts of domestic violence. The new dream team includes three solo practitioners, all of whom believe in Smith and are determined to not let the district attorney of the largest county in Mississippi be treated like a criminal. Leading Smith’s defense are Vicki Gilliam, Nick Crawford and Yemi Kings.

Monday was the first round of victory for Smith in this latest case as the judge granted a continuance and reset the trial date to Jan. 29.

Emfinger told both the defense and the prosecution to work on and clean up their cases. The judge also expressed concern as to the number of motions filed recently in this case. “I am concerned about the unusually high number of motions that were filed just last week in this case and I’m concerned about my docket,” Emfinger said during his deliberations.

The judge admonished both sides to give each other what is needed including, a list of witnesses, discovery evidence and the proper paperwork.

Emfinger also shared with the defense and the prosecution that he would not hear the same motions in January and that he would not allow a back and forth type argument between them. “When this case begins in January you will argue with me and not each other, I don’t intend to allow that in my courtroom,” said Emfinger from a very stern and intentional place.

By resetting this case, it gives Smith’s defense team more time to gather information as they are relatively new to the case and have run into a few stumbling blocks. “We’ve done what we could in the short amount of time for our client,” Gilliam told the judge.” “We don’t want to be ineffective.”

Gilliam maintains that certain aspects of this case weren’t handled properly nor in the best interest of her client. Smith’s former lead defense attorney John Reeves appeared in court Monday only to be officially dismissed.