Former Southaven mayor granted new trial

Former Southaven mayor granted new trial

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Former Southaven mayor Greg Davis is pleased that the Mississippi Court of appeals has reversed his criminal conviction for defrauding the city.

"Obviously very much relieved at this point also very excited and very pleased with the court's ruling," Davis said.

The court said Davis should have been given a change of venue because his case had too much publicity in DeSoto County for a fair trial.

This ruling comes after a stressful few days last week when Davis was notified to get ready to go to prison.  It all stemmed from an apparent clerical error by the appeals court.

"Last week was a rough week, but you know, everyone makes mistakes. I'm not going to blame anybody for what happened; mistakes happen," Davis said.

Davis' attorney Steve Farese said the appeals court decision is wonderful news.

"All we ever wanted was a fair trial and we did not feel we could obtain one in DeSoto County," Farese said.

Two years ago, a DeSoto County jury found Davis guilty of embezzling from the city. It involved a city-owned vehicle prosecutors said was illegally purchased by Davis.

He is also accused of improper mileage reimbursement.

Davis has moved on as the long time mayor of Southaven and is now a manager at Home Depot.

"Today is very exciting and we are very pleased," Davis said.

D.A. John Champion said he will retry the case. Steve Farese said he would like the case moved far from DeSoto County, like the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

A date for the new trial has not been set.

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