New federal trial date set for Jackson mayor

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton and his former bodyguard Michael Recio will be retried May 11 for damage caused to a Ridgeway Street duplex in August 2006.

Melton and Recio’s federal civil rights trial ended last week in a mistrial when jurors were unable to reach a verdict on any of the three charges the men faced.

At least one juror, Lashander Johnson of Magnolia, said the jury was almost evenly split on some counts, including the charges against the mayor of conspiracy and committing a violent crime with a handgun. However, she said more jurors leaned toward conviction than acquittal on the charge of violating federal search and seizure law for both defendants.

“We were actively discussing each count. We wanted to understand what they were charged with and how to apply the law to each count,” Johnson said, explaining the lengthy deliberations. “A lot of people have been asking me why we couldn’t reach a verdict. I believe we gave it a really good effort. To me it gives meaning to that saying that two people can see the same thing and interpret it entirely different.”

Clarion Ledger