Circuit judges issue orders in cases

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

WALTHALL — Matters handled by circuit judges during the vacation term of Webster County Circuit Court include these criminal cases:

Charles Erwin, 52 of Lexington pleaded guilty July 31 to possession of cocaine (less than 2 grams in July 2011 in Mathiston). Circuit Judge Joey Loper did not accept his plea and signed an order of non- adjudication on the same date, placing Erwin on suspended probation for three years and fining him $1,000.

However, Loper on Aug. 10 issued a bench warrant for Erwin’s arrest because he was alleged to have committed perjury regarding his qualifications for non-adjudicated suspended probation, according to court records. He was arrested that date. The warrant states that Loper had not accepted Erwin’s plea because the court had been advised that Erwin had not previously been convicted of a felony.

Loper, after Erwin again appeared in court, found that he had been previously convicted of a felony crime and was ineligible to have his case non-adjudicated.

Loper then accepted his guilty plea, and on Aug. 20 sentenced Erwin to five years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections and fined him $1,000. Upon completion of one week, he was to be placed on post-release supervision for four years and 51 weeks. His driving privileges were suspended for six months.

Charge Remanded Circuit Judge Clarence E. Morgan III has remanded to the files a charge of possession of marijuana of against Vernando Ashunti Washington, 21, of College Park, Ga. The order was dated July 2 and filed Sept. 14.

Morgan remanded the case on a motion of the state pending Vernando’s completion of or removal from a pretrial intervention program that he had entered into with the district attorney’s office. He had been indicted for possessing more than 250 grams but less than 500 grams of marijuana in March 2011 in Mathiston.

Case Dismissed Morgan, on Aug. 29, ordered that an indictment for aggravated assault against Daniel L. Mitchell be dismissed with prejudice on a motion of the state. Dismissal with prejudice means that a case is dismissed permanently.

Mitchell, 18 , of South Mitchell Road was indicted June 18 and arraigned July 16. The indictment charged him with shooting at Daniel Koelling on Feb. 5. The matter was dismissed based upon the victim’s desire not to prosecute the case, according to court records. Koelling signed a “Refusal to Prosecute” form on Aug. 27.