What You Can Do

Listed below are several things you should keep in mind or consider if you are the victim of a crime.

  1. Develop a good relationship with law enforcement officials and the prosecutor handling your case.
  2. Keep the district attorney’s office informed during all stages of the criminal justice process, and contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator.

You will want to inform the office of:

  • Your address and phone numbers, and any changes
  • Your desire to be kept informed
  • How you would like to be informed
  • Facts and information important to the investigation of the case
  • Your feelings regarding plea bargaining negotiations; and
  • Your concerns for safety from the offender
  1. Keep a written journal. Begin with your activities prior to the crime, and include all contact you make about the crime regardless of how minor they may appear.

Include the following items in your journal:

  • Date and time of your conversation
  • Everyone who took part in the conversation
  • Nature of the conversation (include specific details, especially if any decisions were made)
  • Actions to be taken and by whom
  1. Prepare a Victim Impact Statement for the judge, prosecutor, probation officer and corrections officials.
  2. If a probation officer is involved in the case, it is also important to keep him/her informed.

Be sure to let the officer know:

  • Your address and phone numbers, and any changes
  • Your willingness and desire to be involved
  • How and when they can contact you
  • The details about the case and how the crime has affected you
  1. Seek professional counseling and/or a local support group if you are having difficulties overcoming the trauma of the crime.

Responding to the media

In some cases, victims may also find themselves facing the attention of the media. Some individuals may experience negative emotional, mental or legal effects when responding to the media. It is important to know that you have rights when you are asked by the media to talk about your experience.

The National Center for Victims of Crime provides the following guidelines for victims who choose to talk with the media.

Victims have the right

  • To say “no” to an interview
  • To select the spokesperson or advocate of their choice
  • To select the time and location for media interviews
  • To request a specific reporter
  • To refuse an interview with a specific reporter even though they have granted interviews to other reporters
  • To say “no” to an interview even though they have previously granted interviews
  • To release a written statement through a spokesperson in lieu of an interview
  • To exclude children from interviews
  • To refrain from answering any questions which are uncomfortable or the victim feels are inappropriate
  • To know in advance the direction the story is going to take
  • To avoid a press conference atmosphere and speak to only one reporter at a time
  • To demand a correction when inaccurate information is reported
  • To ask that offensive photographs or visuals be omitted from broadcast or publication
  • To conduct a television interview using a silhouette or a newspaper interview without having a photograph taken
  • To completely give their side of the story related to the victimization
  • To refrain from answering reporters’ questions during the trial
  • To file a formal complaint against a journalist
  • To grieve in private
  • To suggest training about media and victims in their communities

By contract, the following are positive emotional and mental effects some victims have experienced when working with the media:

  • Re-telling of the victimization/loss was therapeutic
  • Provided a memorial to a loved one
  • Avoided all the attention being focused on the perpetrator
  • Prevented the perpetrator from gaining notoriety, publicity and justification for the crime
  • Allowed victims/survivors an avenue to express their anger
  • Helped with the investigative process
  • Increased a general understanding of the victim/survivor’s suffering/loss

Always remember that it is the right of the victim/survivor to decide whether or not to work with the media.

Breaking News

15th
June
15th
Jun

Murderer Gets Life plus 90 years Prison Sentence; Co-defendants sentenced to 60 years

Greenwood, MS- Leflore County residents Armond Jones, Sedrick Buchanan, and James McClung were sentenced today at the Leflore County Justice Center, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today. Armond Jones, Michael Holland, Sedrick Buchanan, and James McClung were each indicted [&hellip... read more

19th
May
19th
May

Four Greenwood Men found guilty of August 2015 Shootings

Greenwood, MS – In Leflore County Circuit Court, a jury found Armand Jones, Michael Holland, Sedric Buchanan, and James McClung, guilty for their roles in the shooting that occurred on August 15, 2015 off of Highway 82 near Itta Bena, […]... read more

18th
May
18th
May

Greenville Murderer Gets 30 Year Sentence

Greenville, MS- Washington County resident Wadarren Lawrence pled guilty to Second Degree Murder in Washington County Circuit Court, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today. Richardson said, “Wadarren Lawrence was set for trial on this week of court, but instead […]... read more

17th
April
17th
Apr

Nacardis Williams pleads guilty to April 2015 Homicide

Greenville, MS – In Washington County Circuit Court, Nacardis Williams, 33 yoa, pled guilty to killing Nicholas Smith, 20 yoa, on April 25, 2015, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today. On April 25, 2015, Nicholas Smith was found shot and […]... read more

resources

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Attorney General

www.ago.state.ms.us

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MDOC

www.ms.gov

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Federal Prisoners

www.bop.gov

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Sex Offender Registry

state.sor.dps.ms.gov

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AG Victim Unit

www.ago.state.ms.us

Our Mission

The mission of the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court, under the direction of
W. Dewayne Richardson, is to seek justice in order to maintain an environment of safety, security and lawful behavior for the citizens of the Fourth District.

The Office of the District Attorney uses lawful and reasonable methods to successfully identify and prosecute those who commit felony crimes. When a crime occurs, the Office of the District Attorney diligently pursues the indictment and conviction of those responsible, while adhering to all rights of the Victim, ensuring the victim is being provided all direct services applicable, and acknowledging all constitutional safeguards for the accused.

The District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth
District’s goal is to work with law enforcement and the judiciary to punish those who break our laws with adequate punishment. Every representative of the Office of the District Attorney pledges their commitment and full support to the protection of all citizens within the Fourth Circuit Court District.

Contact

Greenville Office
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
[P] 662.378.2105
[F] 662.332.4665
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Indianola Office
P.O. Box 1046
Indianola, MS 38751
[P] 662.887.4306
[F] 662.887.6275
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Greenwood Office
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
[P] 662.453.1089
[F] 662.451.7291
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Judicial Process

Citizen's Involvement in the criminal justice system typically begins with them being a victim, witness, or defendant of a crime. Arrests are made generally by a judge-issued warrant or by a police officer observing a crime in process. Law enforcement may also arrest someone if it has probable cause to believe the person committed a criminal offense. When individuals are arrested they are routinely advised of their Miranda Rights upon arrest, advising them that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say will be used against them in court. On being questioned, defendants have the right to have their attorney present or to have one appointed if they are indigent.

Felony defendants appear at a first appearance and have the charges reviewed. A judge will inquire if the defendant has an attorney. If low income, the defendant may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. No plea is entered at this time unless the defendant wishes to plead guilty or waives indictment and has an attorney present. All felony cases are presented to a grand jury in the county that the crime was committed. In the State of Mississippi, only a grand jury has the authority to indict an individual for a felony offense and require them to stand trial for the charges alleged in an affidavit and indictment.

If an indictment is issued, the defendant is bound over to stand trial or enter a guilty plea to the crimes alleged. When a criminal trial occurs all 12 jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sentences are decided by Circuit Court Judges in all criminal matters. In most cases a recommendation is made regarding imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution.