Malone Case Headed Back To Court

The controversial case involving a young man who died in police custody in September 1999 is headed back to a grand jury.

Jackson County District Attorney Keith Miller said Saturday night that he will re-present the Marcus Malone case to a second grand jury.

Malone was found dead in the Moss Point city jail in September 1999 after being arrested for a traffic violation. Malone's family and others from the community say he was beaten by police, but the first grand jury dismissed the case saying there wasn't enough evidence to show criminal wrong doing.

Miller says it's a decision he's been considering since taking office, but one he didn't want to make until getting more independent information.

"I had the first two pathologist reports, and although they are consistent, there are a few differences," Miller said. "I decided to go to a third pathologist to review everything."

Miller asked nationally-known pathologist Dr. Mike Baden to review the case. Dr. Baden's report found that Malone died from a traumatic compression or strong blow to the neck that came from either a sleeper hold, an arm, a nightstick or a knee. The report also says Malone died before arriving at the Moss Point city jail, but he didn't find evidence that a blow from a pistol was part of Malone's injuries.

"His report was consistent and the statements from two of the experts that testified," Miller said. "I just felt compelled to go back and re-present this case to the grand jury."

For the family members of Malone and for the local NAACP, this decision is a step toward finally resolving this case.

"We are really optimistic he will get this job done," family member Evelynn Malone Stephens said. "We believe it is wonderful that he has chosen to take this back to the grand jury."

"We felt like their was enough information available the first time to have indictment remedied," Curley Clark with the Jackson county NAACP said. "Therefore we are cautiously optimistic that we be able to get indictment the second time around."

Miller expects to recall at least four to five witnesses before the grand jury, which could meet in the next three months.