Defense Attorney: Hood 'unjustly condemned' client - - The News for South Mississippi

Defense Attorney: Hood 'unjustly condemned' client

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The defense attorney for Jeremy Manieri contacted the Mississippi Bar Association and filed a formal complaint against Attorney General Jim Hood.  The complaint focuses on a campaign ad run by Hood in the democrat's race against republican Steve Simpson.

In a letter dated November 22, 2011, defense attorney Brian Alexander said Hood's "self-serving and destructive actions have prematurely and unjustly condemned my client in the public eye, all but guaranteeing he cannot get a fair trial in this State."

Alexander's client is Manieri, the man arrested in July for allegedly killing Father Ed Everitt.

During Hood's re-election campaign, a Hood TV commercial said Manieri murdered the priest in cold blood.  That ad, Alexander said, ran all over Mississippi in the final two weeks of Vote 2011.  However, Manieri still has not been indicted by a grand jury on any charges related to Father Everitt's death.

"By repeatedly stating a factually unsupportable and false assertion as to my client's guilt, for political gain," Alexander wrote in his complaint to the bar association, "the top lawyer and law enforcement officer in this State not only 'delayed' my client's cause, he all but insured of its destruction by tainting and prejudicing the prospective jury pool of this entire state."

Alexander ended his letter by saying, "The integrity of the legal process and the relevance of our so-called rights demand that this abuse not go unabated."

WLOX News first reported Alexander's concerns about the Hood ad on November 10.  That day, a campaign spokesman for the attorney general said Hood staff members approved the TV spot.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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