Judge denies new trial for former MCS security chief - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Judge denies new trial for former MCS security chief

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis man convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife and mother-in-law will not get a new trial.  Friday morning, Judge Mark Ward quickly struck down a request from John Britt.

Britt, the former head of security for Memphis City Schools, told Action News 5 earlier this month in an exclusive jailhouse interview that he didn't get a fair trial in 2003 because the jury didn't hear the WHOLE story.

"I stand by my innocence and always will," he said.

Britt was convicted of trying to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife and mother in law.  During his original trial, Jan Welch, one of Britt's former employees, testified Britt asked him to get him a hit man.

Once Britt told him he could come up with the down payment, Welch testified that he reported it to the Bartlett Police Department.

Britt was arrested after leaving a bank with Welch to get the $5,000 down payment.  Britt claimed Bartlett police trapped him, because his mistress was married to one of their officers, but during his original trial, the judge ruled Britt couldn't have it both ways.

"The judge said, 'If you're going to use entrapment, then you need to admit guilt,'" Britt said.

In a written ruling Friday, Judge Ward said "His assertions that he never meant his statements to be taken seriously negated any claim of entrapment.  In summary, the Petitioner failed to prove ineffective assistance of counsel."

This likely won't be Britt's last try for a new trial, however, as he indicated in a recent interview.

"I'm going to fight the system all the way to the end," he said.

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