The Clarion-Ledger, 10/10/8

Entering the final round of his latest legal battle, Mayor Frank Melton vowed not to go quietly.

“I’m not going to wimp out,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. “I’m just not going to back up because I am under stress and pressure.”

A few hours earlier, he lashed out in a four-minute statement given from City Hall that criticized the federal charges against him, admonished his former bodyguard for pleading guilty “to something he did not do” and challenged local, state and federal law enforcement to shut down narcotics trafficking in west Jackson.

The mayor is due in federal court in less than five weeks to stand trial on civil rights charges related to the Aug. 26, 2006, raid on a Ridgeway Street duplex. Former bodyguard Marcus Wright pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge and agreed to assist prosecutors.