Jim Hood threatens lawyer during appeals hearing

Thursday’s most unusual confrontation came about 10:15 a.m. when Jim Waide of Tupelo, one of Howell’s local appeals attorneys, announced to Richardson that Attorney General Jim Hood threatened Howell’s lead defender with a criminal charge that he paid a witness to lie.

Billy Richardson of North Carolina, who’s advocated for Howell’s innocence for several years, appeared to have the steam come out of his engine after the incident.

“Counsel has got to be worried about this when he’s supposed to be here worried about Mr. Howell,” Waide pressed to the judge, terming Hood’s alleged verbal attack on his colleague as “totally inappropriate” and asking the judge to declare a new trial.

Richardson told the judge, “I’m pretty shook up by this.”

Hood downplayed the accusations, saying he told Richardson his prospective witness, Brandon Shaw, would testify that his former girlfriend, Terkesia Pannell, was paid to testify.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” Hood responded testily.

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
4/12/13