The Clarion-Ledger, 10/24/8

Some key questions in the federal trial of Mayor Frank Melton and his former bodyguard, Jackson Police Detective Michael Recio, will be settled before a jury is selected three weeks from now.

First among the arguments is whether attorneys for Melton and Recio will be allowed to introduce evidence of alleged illegal drug activity around the Ridgeway Street duplex the mayor and his entourage raided and allegedly damaged the night of Aug. 26, 2006.

U.S. District Court Judge Dan Jordan has scheduled a motion hearing on Nov . 10, and Mississippi College law professor Matt Steffey said whoever wins that argument will have a decided edge when jury selection starts two days later.

“It’s not whether the character of Ridgeway Street comes into this case, it’s to what extent,” Steffey said. “I think the jurors have an appetite for getting told a complete story. They are going to want to ask themselves, ‘Why are we here and why was the mayor there?’ “