A Mississippi judge declared mistrials Thursday in the case of two white men accused of assaulting a black FedEx delivery worker.

Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Case, are charged with attempted first-degree murderConspiracy and shootings in a vehicle driven by D’Montario Gibson in January 2022. Gibson, now 25, was not injured. But the chase and shooting sparked complaints of racism on social media in Brookhaven, about an hour’s drive from the state capital Jackson.

Judge David Strong said he ruled a mistrial because of errors by a Brookhaven Police Department detective. On Wednesday, the judge ended the session early after Detective Vincent Fernando admitted under oath while the jury was out of the courtroom that he had not previously given prosecutors or defense attorneys the videotaped statement taken from Gibson by police.

The judge said the officer also gave improper testimony about guns found in the home of a man involved in the trial and shell casings found outside the home. Defense attorneys requested a mistrial and Strong said he had no choice but to grant it.

The judge said of the errors, “In 17 years, I don’t think I’ve seen it.”

Gibson’s mother, Sharon McClendon, shouted foul words in the courtroom after the judge’s announcement, and she and her son refused to speak to reporters as they left the courtroom. Highway Patrol officers walked with him to a private vehicle and some supporters hugged Gibson.

Rayshun Bridges, of Brookhaven, stood outside the courthouse with a handwritten poster that read: “We want justice for D’Montero.” He said he did not know Gibson but was following news coverage of the case.

“That young guy, he was just trying to do his job at work,” Bridges said.

The cases, which were out on bond, sat quietly as the judge made his ruling. Terrell Stubbs, the defense attorney for the Gregory case, declined to comment.

After court adjourned, District Attorney Dee Bates told reporters that she disagreed with the judge’s ruling. Bates said a new trial would be scheduled, but he did not know if it would happen before he leaves office at the end of the year.

On Wednesday, Carlos Moore, Gibson’s attorney in a civil lawsuit, praised prosecutors’ work but said outside court that Fernando’s testimony showed police were not thorough in the investigation.

Moore said, “If this doesn’t end with convictions on both counts, I think it will be because of the shoddy work of the Brookhaven Police Department.”

Moore case comparison for the murder of ahmed arbyA 25-year-old black man who was fleeing a Georgia subdivision in 2020 when three white men — a father, son and neighbor — chased him and one attacked him with a gun.

The encounter between Gibson and Cases occurred when Gibson made a FedEx delivery on the evening of January 24, 2022, driving a rental van with Hertz logos on three sides. Bates told the majority-white jury that after dropping off a package at a house on a closed public street, Gregory Case used a pickup truck to try to stop the van from leaving, and Brandon Case exited with a gun. Came.

As Gibson turned the van around the pickup truck, Bates said, shots were fired, with three rounds hitting the delivery van and some of the packages inside.

Stubbs told jurors that his client saw a van outside his mother-in-law’s vacant house and went to see what was happening. Stubbs said, the elderly Case bus van driver went to ask what was happening, but the driver did not stop.

Detective Fernando testified that video from a truck stop’s security camera showed a white van being followed by a pickup truck at 7:31 p.m., 14 minutes before police were called by Gregory Case.

A police dispatcher testified that the elderly Case first called and reported that he had seen a suspicious vehicle near his home and that the van had almost run over him. Audio of the call was played in court, in which Case said he wanted to know who owned the van and that he thought the driver was “doing something that is not good.”

The dispatcher said Gibson called a few minutes later and reported that someone had fired at the van while he was delivering a package.

Fernando also said that cellphone records showed that father and son had phone conversations the evening before Gregory Case called the police.

Moore said Gibson is still employed at FedEx but is on workers’ compensation leave. A judge last week dismissed Gibson’s federal lawsuit seeking $5 million from FedEx, writing that the lawsuit failed to prove the company discriminated against him because of his race. That lawsuit also named the city of Brookhaven, the police chief and the cases, and Moore said he plans to file a new civil lawsuit in state court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *