The Clarion-Ledger, 12/2/8

In a motion filed late Monday, federal prosecutors said Jackson Mayor Frank Melton should be held accountable for obeying the law, not “his personal moral code of conduct.”

The motion was filed in response to a defense argument that jurors in the mayor’s Jan. 5 trial should be allowed to hear evidence showing Melton did not have an “evil motive” on Aug. 28, 2006, when he allegedly led a group of sledgehammer-welding young men, some with criminal records, to attack a Ridgeway Street duplex he later claimed was a “crack house.”

Melton and his two former Jackson Police Department bodyguards Marcus Wright and Michael Recio were charged in July in a three-count federal indictment with crimes related to the warrantless raid on the duplex. In October, Wright pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for his cooperation in prosecuting Melton and Recio.

If convicted on all counts, Melton and Recio could spend up to 25 years in prison.