Hancock County attorney hot over AG's ad

Published: Nov. 10, 2011 at 3:36 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2011 at 1:41 PM CST
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HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A day after winning re-election, Attorney General Jim Hood came under fire for one of his campaign ads.  The lawyer for a man accused of murder says that ad, seen across the state, convicted his client.

The client is Jeremy Maineri.  The attorney is Brian Alexander.

In the defense attorney's opinion, the ad is so unfair, it means getting a fair trial anywhere in Mississippi will be impossible.

The words that angered Alexander so much were when an announcer said, "Then, the child molester murdered a 70-year-old priest in cold blood."

Alexander believes it's his client who's been harmed.

"When I first saw that commercial, I was shocked," Alexander said.

Maineri is the man who was arrested four months ago and charged with robbing and killing a priest in Waveland. Maineri sits in jail waiting for his day in court.

"Our entire legal system is predicated on the premise that an accused is presumed innocent. The sitting attorney general stating, unequivocally declaring, convicting Jeremy Maineri for a crime he had not yet been indicted is so beyond the pale," explained Alexander

Hood's campaign manager Jonathan Compretta would not comment on the ad other than to confirm it was approved by the Hood campaign staff.  Whether Hood helped write or okay the words in the ad, is unclear.

"He certainly saw his own ad that his campaign released and never pulled it, never withdrew it, never denounced it. What he's done is taint the entire prospective jury pool from all through out this state," said Alexander.

Alexander says he has nothing against Jim Hood. In fact, he says he contributed to Hood's campaign.  Maineri's lawyer says he's just looking out for his client, and that could mean taking action against the AG.

"I have been speaking with my client's family and my client, and he has asked me to file a formal complaint with the state ethics commission, which is something I'm considering," remarked Alexander.

Alexander is considering another way to right what he calls a wrong.

"I don't know how you un-ring the bell, so of speak. My initial thought is maybe a similar campaign of advertisement paid for by the Hood campaign, setting the record straight," he said.

WLOX News made several attempts to get a comment from Attorney General Hood.  However, his campaign staff did not respond. His office staff didn't send us a response either.

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