Day 4 of D.A. Smith trial: Hinds County Detention Center Warden takes the stand

Photo: WJTV
Photo: WJTV

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — It’s day four of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith’s trial.

He’s accused of illegally helping Christopher Butler, an inmate, by giving legal advice.

Thursday, Hinds County Detention Center Warden, Major Mary Rushing took the stand.

A text messages exchange between Rushing and Smith were shown to the court. It showed Smith asking Rushing for a meeting with Butler.
Rushing said that’s not a request she’s dealt with in the past.

“I had never been contacted about anything in that particular manner, like that,” Rushing said. “So what I did, because I didn’t know what was going on, I contacted Sheriff Mason.”

Hinds County Deputy Juan Chapa also took the witness stand. He led a drug sweep in the downtown Jackson Detention Center back in June.

A cell phone was found in Butler’s cell. Deputies also found a letter addressed to Butler’s lawyer at the time from Smith.

Butler’s former attorney Sanford Knott also testified. He was asked if he ever saw a district attorney advocate for a defendant.

“Certainly I understand the role of a prosecutor,” he said. “Certainly they have to make sure justice is done but in direct response to your question. The answer is no. ”

According to Knott, Smith did eventually meet with Butler, but he was not there. The details of the meeting were not revealed.

The trial started Monday. Former Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson also took the stand this week along with others.

After Thursday once the court dismisses, it won’t resume until Tuesday, due to the Christmas holiday.

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