The Clarion-Ledger, 10/8/8

By the time he emerged from the federal courthouse Tuesday, Marcus Wright had changed the dynamics of the case against Jackson Mayor Frank Melton.

In a deal to escape felony charges, Wright agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and gave a detailed statement that is both politically embarrassing and potentially legally devastating. For Melton, this defection is a new page in the drama that began Aug. 26, 2006, when the Jackson Police Department’s Mobile Command Unit pulled up to a duplex at 1305 Ridgeway St.

According to the statement Wright gave prosecutors, it was 8 p.m. when Melton, drinking Scotch and water, announced he wanted to “check in on Bubba,” as the resident of the duplex is known.

The statement unfolded all of the allegations the mayor’s attorneys had successfully kept from being publicly released in his April 2007 state trial: An erratic mayor, convinced of his own unquestioned authority and under the influence of alcohol, ordered a group of young men with criminal backgrounds to take sledgehammers to the duplex without any legal authority while his police bodyguards kept neighborhood residents at bay.