Citizens have mixed feelings on Mike Byrd

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Mike Byrd's legal woes were the topic of conversation at Scranton's in Pascagoula. Despite Byrd admitting his guilt to one federal charge and one state charge, some believe he is innocent.

"I listened to those witnesses testify at a bond hearing and nobody really said anything in my opinion really incriminating," George Shaddock said.

Shaddock thinks all charges could have been dropped if the case went to trial.

"I feel sorry for Sheriff Byrd," Shaddock said. "I think he acted on the advice of his attorney and entered a guilty plea. I understand he's going to get house arrest, but I hate to lose him. He's a good sheriff and hopefully we will get someone else equally as qualified."

Judy Harrison agreed Byrd is a big loss for Jackson County.

"A lot of people really respect Mike Byrd, no matter what he's done. People really like him and don't want to see him tortured or thrown into a hole because of what he's done," Harrison said.

She hopes the judge will take prosecutors' recommendations and sentence Byrd to a year and a half of house arrest.

"I think this is probably enough for him," Harrison said. "He has a lot of good characteristics, as well."

Josh Vice thinks Byrd deserves more time.

"I think it's unfair, a normal citizen like you and I, I don't think we would be treated like that," Vice said. "We would get the book thrown at us. It's maybe just the perks of who he is."

Jonathon Watts is a local youth pastor. He strongly believes everyone in a position of leadership should be held to the highest standards.

"When you have somebody in the law enforcement system that does anything to even bring a bad light to the law enforcement system, that the punishment or consequence should be even more severe to set an example for the people that would come after him," Watts said.

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