DeSoto DUI cases dismissed because of a technicality

By Jason Miles - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - "It's disgraceful."

That's what Jason Bayless thinks of a decision by DeSoto County Justice Court Judge Karen Sanders to dismiss four DUI cases while considering the same for 10 others.

"What would she feel like if these people were in a car headed toward her family?" Bayless asked.

Bayless' son Ethan was killed in 2004 in a DUI related crash.  Repeat offender Randall Owen is now serving a 25-year sentence.  Bayless is upset the people whose cases were thrown out Monday morning won't also be punished thanks to a technicality.

"It's not right," Bayless said. "There's no justice here."

Defense attorneys questioned the tickets used by DeSoto County deputies at the time of the arrests.

"Because they were written on an old ticket form," said Justice Court Clerk Shirley Beshears.

Beshears says state of Mississippi issued newer tickets last year which require the driver's current address.  The old tickets did not.

"The sheriff's department had ordered their tickets, but they had not come in," says Beshears.  "So, they were still issuing tickets on the old form," she adds.

We're told it took months for deputies to get the newer tickets.  Some of those written in the interim are now getting thrown out.

"That's the judge's discretion," she said.

The judge's decision, in this case, contradicts a previous opinion by the Mississippi Attorney General which stated the old tickets were valid while departments waited on new ones to arrive.

"Punish these people,"Bayless said.  "Keep them away from my family. Keep them away from your family."

Our calls to Judge Sanders were not returned.

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