A third trial in Warren County Circuit Court for Dane Davenport is ill-advised.
Last week Attorney General Jim Hood, whose staff has prosecuted indictments here and in Oktibbeha County against the 47-year-old Vicksburg resident, affirmed prosecutors will try again for convictions, probably in 2011. Hood should reconsider, and remand the remaining charges until or unless Davenport is charged with additional criminality.
There can be no more intense emotional wringer than all participants in this case, including jurors in previous trials, have undergone. That’s because there are no more serious or heinous accusations than child sexual battery and molestation.
Davenport, a master sergeant and 17-year trooper for the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, has been acquitted of all charges in Oktibbeha County after two trials there. Here, after a jury deadlocked on all allegations in September 2008, another jury in March acquitted him of five of the nine counts in the local indictment.
Remaining are accusations of two youths, who are brothers, that they were fondled in October 1999, July 2003, November 2005 and November or December 2005.