It's a troubling time in Pearl River County. Here's why. A man was arrested and charged with murder for shooting another man to death. Sheriff's deputies felt they had a strong case. Hence the murder charge. But less than 24 hours later, Justice Court Judge Nell Cowart set the accused killer free, citing a lack of probable cause.
She remains silent as to how she reached her decision. There is no written transcript. Her actions resulted in a peaceful and dignified rally lead by the NAACP, on the courthouse steps in Poplarville. That's because the victim is black, the accused is white. Police are stunned, the victims' family is stunned. A man police believe is a killer is walking free with no judicial explanation. We are stunned as well.
At the very least,the Judge should have set bond for the accused, and remanded the case to a grand jury. But she did not. She let an accused killer back on the streets, with no explanation.
To their credit, police officials say they are not dropping the case, and will continue the investigation. Meanwhile, the community is left to wonder just went on in Judge Cowart's courtroom. The victim's family is wondering too. And, so are we.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV Station Manager