Thursday, August 3, 2006
Pruitt’s bond hearing put on hold
By SUE WATSON
Michael Wallace Pruitt appeared in circuit court in Oxford before Judge Andrew Howorth Thursday and temporarily waived right to a bail bond hearing.
Pruitt is charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and sexual battery of a 6-year-old girl from the Laws Hill community of Marshall County that took place a week and a half ago.
Pruitt was charged early last week after taking Sheriff Kenny Dickerson and other law officers to a location on Dogwood Road where he allegedly abandoned the child with a gunshot wound to the head and other injuries. The child is making a miraculous recovery in a Memphis hospital, according to authorities, after undergoing surgery for a bullet wound to the head and is receiving medical treatment.
Dickerson said Thursday that criminal defense attorney John Dolan of Olive Branch, who took the case for the purposes of an initial appearance and bond hearing, told the court he was not prepared to ask for a bond hearing last week since he had just taken the case.
Dolan also asked the court for a mental evaluation for Pruitt, and the State of Mississippi agreed to that request, Dickerson said.
“A motion for a mental evaluation is consistent with the rule of Mississippi Criminal Procedure and Mississippi Supreme Court Case Law,” Dickerson said.
The sheriff along with other officers of his department are scheduled to transport Pruitt to a location in Jackson later this week for the purpose of a mental evaluation consistent with the order issued by Marshall County Circuit Court.
Jason Eugene Reaves, charged with accessory after the fact of criminal charges against Pruitt, has been assigned David Bell of Oxford as court-appointed attorney, Dickerson said.
Reaves said he could not afford an attorney at his initial appearance July 24 in Marshall County Justice Court. Smith/Whaley PLLC, which has the contract to serve as public defender for circuit court in Marshall County, asked the court to assign someone to defend Reaves, citing conflict of interest.
Dickerson said he believes Bell will petition the court for a reduction in bond for Reaves which was set by Judge Ernest Cunningham at $100,000.
Reaves’ bond hearing could be scheduled this week during a special term of circuit court in Holly Springs, Dickerson said.
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