3 potential jurors struck from Melton’s trial

U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan struck the woman from the Foxworth community near Columbia from the jury pool because her opinion on the case is “set in stone.”

Melton and his former police bodyguard Michael Recio are on trial on federal civil rights charges related to their role in an Aug. 26, 2006, warrantless raid on a Ridgeway Street duplex. They face five to 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

The dismissed potential juror told Jordan, “It sounds like to me he did a favor to the community it (the house) was in, especially if it was a crack house.”

Jordan has ruled Melton cannot use that terminology for the house. But all the potential jurors have said they have some knowledge of the raid.

A number of potential jurors have said they favor Melton in the trial.

“This is a man who wants Jackson to be clean and do good for the people,” said a female potential juror from Bentonia. “I feel that he is innocent because his intentions were right.”

That potential juror also was excused.

So was a man from Biloxi who said pretrial coverage he had seen made the mayor out to be a “public official on a powertrip” and that he believes the mayor should be punished.

“I don’t think I will change my mind,” he said.

A third juror was excused because he socialIzes with Melton’s defense attorney.

Clarion Ledger
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