Crime Victims Bill of Rights

The Mississippi Constitution was amended in 1998 to provide for the fair treatment of crime victims within this state. Section 26(a) of the Mississippi Constitution states: “Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process; and to be informed, present and heard, when authorized by law, during public hearings”.

The Mississippi Legislature passed the Mississippi Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in order to carry out the constitutional amendment. The Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights provides several rights, privileges, and notices to crime victims throughout the criminal justice process. The law requires that law enforcement, prosecutors, the judiciary (court officials), correctional system and executive authority (Governor) must provide these rights, privileges and notices to crime victims.

For purposes of the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights:
1. “Victim” means a person against whom the criminal offense has been committed, or if the person is deceased or incapacitated, the lawful representative.
If the victim is physically or emotionally unable to exercise these rights, he/she may designate in writing a person to be his/her representative.
If the victim is deceased, the court will appoint a representative who is not a witness to the crime.
If the victim is a minor, a family member may be designated as the victims’ representative or the court may appoint a representative for the child.
The victim who is represented by another person may decide to personally exercise his/her rights as soon as he/she is physically, mentally, emotionally or legally competent to do so.

2. The following violent offenses apply:
Crimes which involve physical injury or the threat of physical injury.
Any sexual offense.
Any offense involving spousal abuse or domestic violence.


In order to receive this benefit of the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, a victim must file a written request with the law enforcement agency assigned to your case and the prosecutor. A form titled Request to Exercise Victims’ Rights has been designed by the Office of the Attorney General and is available at law enforcement agencies, district attorney’s offices and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Crime Victim Compensation Division. This form will be given to you in a packet of information provided by the investigating officer within seventy-two hours following the crime. (Until your case has been turned over to the prosecuting attorney, you will need to call the investigating officer for an update on the status of your case.)

The victim or the lawful victim representative is required to:
Complete and sign the Request to Exercise Victims’ Rights form
Send the form to the investigator and/or prosecutor handling your case
Keep the investigator and/or prosecutor informed of any changes in your name, address and/or telephone number(s)

It is the victim’s responsibility to provide updated information to the investigator and/or prosecutor. Failure to provide these changes may be considered a withdrawal of your request for victims’ rights. The safest route is to always provide any changes or updated information.

Please note that written requests are required to obtain your rights, and often many other offices are involved in handling your case, not just the prosecutor. You are encouraged to read the Bill of Rights so you can determine what different offices may be involved in handling your case. Be sure that all of these offices have a copy of your written request. These offices may include: any agency which has physical custody of the offender (county or city jail) Department of Corrections, Parole Board, Office of the Attorney General and Office of the Governor.

If you have not received the information packet or the Request to Exercise Victims’ Rights form, please contact the Crime Victim Compensation Division at 1.800.829.6766 or 601.359.4144 for a copy.


This automated network program allows Mississippi victims to receive realtime information about the custody status of state inmates and offenders housed in county jails statewide. From booking to release, victims can register for immediate access to offender information including notification about the offender’s placement, release, transfer or other change in custody status while maintaining total anonymity. There is no cost to utilize the service, and the information can be accessed by telephone or internet.

Crime victims may register by calling 1.888.9MS.SAVIN (1.888.967.7284) or online at

Breaking News



Greenwood, MS – Jadarius Harris, 23 yoa, of Itta Bena was convicted of Second-Degree Murder in Leflore County Circuit Court following his guilty plea on Monday, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today. On July 11, 2020, deputies of the Leflore […]... read more


Chillious Receives a 40 Year Sentence for Sex Crimes Against a Child

Greenville, MS – This week in Circuit Court, Brian Chillious, 45 yoa, pled guilty to a total of forty years with the Mississippi Department of Correction for a series of child sex crimes that took place in Washington County.  Chillious […]... read more


Ellison Lafayette Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

Greenville, MS – With a jury pool drawn from across Washington County and ready to hear his case, Ellison Lafayette, 32 yoa, chose to plead guilty to causing the death of William Taylor, 51 yoa. Circuit Judge Richard Smith accepted […]... read more



Greenville, MS – Berdell Willis, III, 22 yoa, of Greenville, was sentenced following his May 2022 guilty plea to the charge of Second Degree Murder in the November 2017 murder of Darrell Lafayette, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.  Two […]... read more


Attorney General


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AG Victim Unit

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.


Greenville Office
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
[P] 662.378.2105
[F] 662.332.4665

Indianola Office
P.O. Box 1046
Indianola, MS 38751
[P] 662.887.4306
[F] 662.887.6275

Greenwood Office
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
[P] 662.453.1089
[F] 662.451.7291

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.


• City of Greenville

• City of Hollandale

• City of Leland
• City of Metcalfe

• Washington County

• City of Indianola
• City of Ruleville
• City of Drew

• City of Moorhead

• City of Inverness

• City of Sunflower

• Sunflower County

• City of Itta Bena

• City of Greenwood

• Leflore County