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Over the last few weeks Clay County Circuit Clerk officials, Circuit Court judges and attorneys have been diligently preparing for the January 2013 term of court, which begins Monday with several murder and aggravated assault cases expected to be heard.
Several of these cases have been continued multiple times due to different circumstances, such as the need for the accused to prepare an effective defense, but at least one case may go to trial this week.
That case involves 33-year-old Tameisha Shelton of Clay County, who is accused of killing Daniel Young around Oct. 16, 2009. Shelton was arrested April 13, 2011, charged with murder and pled not guilty to the charge on the same day during her indictment. She was taken to the Clay County Detention Center but was later released on a $75,000 bond.
Her case is set for trial Monday.
Also on the docket this week is the 2010 three-count aggravated assault case of West Point resident Edward Cox, who is scheduled to stand trial Monday for the stabbing of his wife, son and a third female relative. The stabbings allegedly took place back on Aug. 30, 2010 at the home of his wife, Joshlyn Blair, where he allegedly entered, started making allegations against Blair and began assaulting her and other family members with a knife.
Early in 2012 Cox motioned the court to dismiss his case on the grounds of double jeopardy, but on July 18, 2012 Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens denied the motion, finding â€śthat none of the counts in the indictment against Edward Cox are barred by the Double Jeopardy Clauseâ€ť of the state and federal Constitution. Cox made an appeal in August to the Mississippi Supreme Court against this decision but according to court records failed to prosecute the appeal.
The court is also expected to hear the case of Tavaris F. Collins, who is accused of gunning down Starkville High School football star Devin Mitchell Jan. 1, 2012. The shooting took place outside of Ridgewood East Apartments in West Point and left Mitchell dead. Collins is not only charged with murder in this case but is also charged as an habitual offender with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The latter charge is what is to come before the court Monday.
Coxâ€™s case is set to be heard Monday.
Other cases on the docket for Monday are as follows:
â€˘ State vs. Ricky L. Hopper, charged with embezzlement
â€˘ State vs. Travis Weatherspoon, charged with domestic violence/burglary of a dwelling
â€˘ State vs. Jeterred Mitchell, charged with sexual battery
â€˘ State vs. Diamoni Warren, charged with child abuse
â€˘ State vs. Kevon Tucker, charged with fleeing law enforcement officer/malicious mischief, three counts
â€˘ State vs. Melissa Beach, charged with armed robbery, grand larceny and aggravated assault
Those who plan to attend any Circuit Court proceedings will face tighter security this year at the courthouse and will not be allowed to enter the courtroom until being completely cleared.