Hinds County district attorney: Judge releases accused killers without notice

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi district attorney says a judge has released people accused of murder and other violent crimes without notifying prosecutors.

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith criticized county Senior Circuit Judge Tomie Green in a statement last Thursday.

Smith says motions have been filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court asking that Green be required to give prosecutors the opportunity to be heard before deciding bond for people in custody suspected in violent crimes.

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Judge Green says a notification email is sent when there’s a hearing.

Smith cites the release of 21-year-old Nicholas Coats. The DA says Coats was charged with murder in the 2017 shooting of 23-year-old Chelsie Kirschten. He says prosecutors argued they were denied the chance to be heard before Coats’ release.

It’s unclear if Coats has a lawyer.