Ocean Springs Man's Kidnapping Conviction Upheld


Mark Anthony Smiley says he stayed in jail 819 days before being brought to trial.

Both he and the Mississippi Court of Appeals say that was too long but Smiley lost the appeal of his kidnapping conviction anyway.

Today (Tuesday), the Appeals Court said that Smiley didn't prove any harm or that his defense was hindered in any manner by the delay.

Smiley was sentenced to 15 years on each of two counts in Jackson County of kidnapping stemming from a 1996 incident in which his ex-wife, her friend and three children were held hostage.

Appeals Court Judge James E. Thomas says the speedy trial issue was not addressed during Smiley's trial and therefore it could not be raised on appeal. Thomas wrote the court's opinion today (Tuesday). He said 819 days from arrest to trial was unreasonable. Thomas wrote -- quote -- ``We observe the state's failure to bring Smiley to trial in a timely manner. Notably absent here is a good cause for not doing so.''