Washington County Grand Jury Indicts Greenville High Teacher
Greenville, MS – In Washington County Circuit Court, Linda Winters Johnson has been indicted by the most recent Grand Jury, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.
After a thorough investigation by the Greenville Police Department, investigators turned over their findings of what transpired in the Greenville High School Gymnasium on September 21, 2016. This case was presented to the Washington County Grand Jury during the October Term of court. After hearing the case in its entirety the grand jury determined that Linda Winters Johnson should be charged with violating 43-47-19 (2)(a) of the Mississippi Code. This crime is commonly referred to as Abuse of a Vulnerable Person. The charge aforementioned carries a potential penalty of 1 year in the county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $1000. Richardson added that every defendant charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
It is not common practice for the District Attorney’s Office to comment on pending criminal matters. However, the District Attorney’s Office felt it best to keep the community apprised of the status of this case. The Office of the District Attorney will continue to seek justice for the victim in this case as we do in all cases that we prosecute. Arraignments have been scheduled for December 13, 2016 regarding all cases indicted by the Washington County Grand Jury during the October Term of court.
The Office of the District Attorney appreciates the hard work of the Greenville Police Department with obtaining all of the records, statements, and information needed to fully investigate this matter. We also would like to thank Dr. Leeson Taylor and the staff of Greenville Public Schools for providing law enforcement and my office with the information needed during this investigation.
Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson
District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105
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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.
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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.
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