JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Jurors have acquitted the district attorney of Mississippi’s largest county of charges that he hindered prosecution of a drug defendant.
The jury found Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith not guilty Tuesday of two counts of conspiring to hinder prosecution and one count of unlawfully providing advice to a criminal defendant.
Local media report the verdict came less than two hours after jurors had told a judge they were deadlocked 10-2 on all counts.
Judge Larry Roberts had told jurors to keep talking. Smith’s first trial ended in a hung jury in January.
The attorney general’s office prosecuted Smith on charges that he illegally intervened to get drug charges dismissed against Christopher Butler, who was convicted recently. Defense lawyers argued that Smith’s concerns about whether Butler was framed were not a crime.