Headlines – 6/11/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 11, 2004

Panolian Headlines: June 11, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 6/11/04  issue of The Panolian

Camp Site
Jeff Armstrong, left, was the guest speaker at the Batesville Rotary Club on Tuesday. Armstrong is the director of Boy Scouts of America for the Chickasaw Council, which serves DeSoto, Panola, Tate and Tunica counties.

The council has recently purchased 1,000 acres at Pat’s Bluff on the banks of Sardis Lake and will construct a new regional scouting camp, housing up to 1,200 scouts at a time.

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Also pictured displaying the map of the area is Johnny Weed, Rotarian and Scout leader (center), and Rotary Club president Jim Vinson.

Murder Suspect Gets
     Preliminary Hearing
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

A Lambert man accused of murdering an Ole Miss student will be in court for a preliminary hearing next Tuesday.

According to David Walker, attorney for Demetrius Smith, his client will appear before Justice Court Judge James Appleton next week.

Smith is charged with the alleged murder of Carnesha Nelson, an Ole Miss student whose body was found in the Engineers Point of Sardis Lake.

The Panolian has learned Assistant District Attorney Robert Kelly will serve as prosecutor for the hearing.

The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether or not there is enough evidence for the matter to proceeds to the Panola County Grand Jury.

"This is just the preliminary," Walker said. "Should the judge determine evidence is sufficient, the case will go to the Grand Jury and then to Circuit Court."

In another development in this case Walker has filed a motion to dismiss the charge of murder for lack of jurisdiction and proper venue.

According to the motion filed with Circuit Court Clerk Joe Reid’s office, both the sixth amendment and Article III, section 26 require that criminal proceedings against a criminal defendant be conducted in the county in which the alleged crime occurred.

"The defendant expects that the proof in this case will show that any crime that was committed against Carnesha Nelson was committed in Lafayette County and not Panola," the motion said.

"For those reason, we have made the motion that the court dismiss the charge of murder lodged against Mr. Smith for lack of jurisdiction and proper venue," Walker said.


Taking a Dip…
Swimming season is back. The City Pool is now open to help cool down the summer heat. Having fun in the sun is (front to back), Maddie Sullivan, Courtney Cain, Shelby Ware, Cheyenne Fellows and Bobby Epps.

City, County Look to
     Repo N.P. Hospital

By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

If the City of Sardis and Panola County, owners of the North Panola Hospital, have their way, the future of the building will not be up in the air much longer.

According to Sardis Mayor Richard Darby, both governing boards voted unanimously to hire attorney Flip Phillips to research the feasibility of repossessing the building from Partners in Action.

"The city and the county voted to secure Mr. Phillips to research the matter and determine if it is worth going after them," he said.

Darby said Phillips will be paid up to $10,000 for his services, but it will not come from the general fund of the city or county.

"The money will come out of the special accounts set up for healthcare in North Panola County," he said. "It will not come out of the taxpayers pockets."

Partners in Action purchased the facility in 2001 with intentions of transforming the three story hospital building into a state-of-the-art assisted living operation.

Darby, who served on the North Panola Hospital Board at the time, said the hospital trustees were not in favor of the sale when it took place.
"The hospital board had been in negotiations with an outfit from Tunica to do pretty much the same thing Partners in Action was proposing," he said. "The group we were talking with had already done something similar with an old hotel in downtown Tunica and would have done something similar here in Sardis."

Darby said once the city and county got behind the idea of selling the facility to Partners in Action, the other interested party was left out in the cold.