Judge weighs claim Greenwood officer violated rights of student

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - Circuit Judge Ashley Hines says he will rule later whether Casey Wiggins should face criminal charges stemming from a confrontation in which the Greenwood police officer pulled his pistol on a student at school.

Hines took the case under advisement today after completing the probable cause hearing in Lelfore County Circuit Court.

Today's hearing included testimony by three Greenwood High School students who said fellow student James Marshall did nothing wrong on December 6th when he was approached by Wiggins.

Another witness, English teacher Joe Nokes, testified that Marshall appeared "more angry than afraid" during the encounter that was captured on school surveillance cameras and attracted national attention.

Marshall, an 18-year-old senior, claims Wiggins, who was on patrol at the school, violated his civil rights by using excessive force.

The school cameras captured parts of the interaction between the two, including the officer apparently pointing his pistol at Marshall's head and putting Marshall in a choke hold.

Wiggins' lawyer, Mitchell Creel of Greenville, says the rookie officer responded properly after Mitchell refused to comply with Wiggins' orders and resisted arrest.

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