2015 Report

“Eight years ago, I was humbled to be elected as your District Attorney. I made several promises during my campaign and I want you to know that those promises are being kept. With that in mind, we compile a list of some of our significant accomplishments for you to review each year. I believe that one of the first duties of government is to keep its citizens safe and that has been job number one during my administration. Counties, such as Madison and Rankin, stay safe for a number of reasons. First, we have outstanding and dedicated law enforcement. Second, when my office receives a case we work diligently to move it quickly through the criminal justice system. I believe in swift justice with strong
and appropriate sentences.I also believe criminals should be held accountable for their actions and not allowed to simply walk out of the jail hours after being arrested to return to commit another crime. We have created a reputation among criminals that they should not commit illegal actions in Madison and Rankin Counties. To maintain that reputation we must work to see that when someone breaks the law there will be consequences for their actions. In other parts of our state, the criminals have taken over counties and in those counties criminals suffer little or no punishment for their crime. I can assure you that my office and law enforcement will not allow crime to go unchecked in our district.

Madison and Rankin counties comprise one extended community and as a community we have placed public safety
as our top priority. As a member of the community you play an important part in the criminal justice system, perhaps you have had the opportunity to serve as a juror on a grand jury or a trial jury or perhaps you have witnessed and reported illegal activity to law enforcement. Your involvement, along with the hard work of our police officers and deputy sheriffs, is a necessary and an important part in keeping our neighborhoods and businesses safe.

In an effort to keep you informed, we have constructed and maintained an interactive website, www.daguest.com, which
I encourage you to visit. On the website you can find the latest news and can register to receive our enewsletter and news alerts. In addition our website contains directions on how to download our App for your smartphone. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook at “DA Michael Guest” and Twitter
“@DA_MichaelGuest”. We have embraced social media because it allows you to have access to our office anytime day or night.

As we enter another term, I can assure you that I, along with my fellow prosecutors and staff, will continue prosecuting criminals and working with the victims to see that justice is served and that criminals are held responsible. That is the job you elected us to perform and we take our responsibility very seriously.

Once again, thank you for the faith and confidence you have placed in your District Attorney’s office. We know that we work for you and we are proud to be public servants tasked with making a difference in our community. Thank you and please feel free to contact our office if you need anything at all.”

–Michael Guest

Major Cases Closed During 2008-2015

Rashun Johnson
kidnapping • 30 years to serve
Jerome Van
kidnapping • 30 years to serve
Tommy McCrory
sexual battery • 30 years to serve
Edward Myers
armed robbery • 30 years to serve
Peter Grossley
armed robbery • 30 years to serve
James David Medlock
DUI death • 30 years to serve
Paul Jones
statutory rape • 30 years to serve
Michael Maye
statutory rape • 30 years to serve
Antonio Wallace
armed robbery / kidnapping • 34 years to serve
Jeremy Allen
armed robbery • 35 years to serve
Joshua Allen
armed robbery • 35 years to serve
Eddie Devine
armed robbery • 35 years to serve
Edward Sullivan
DUI death • 35 years to serve
Marcus Ollie
manslaughter / possession of a firearm • 35 years to serve
Joe Earl Cole
sexual battery • 35 years to serve
Lyndon Myers
armed robbery / possession of a firearm • 35 years to serve
Howard Doyle
armed robbery • 37 years to serve
Craig Sallie
aggravated assault / possession of a firearm • 40 years to serve
Tonya Gann
DUI mayhem • 40 years to serve
Bobby Allen
armed robbery / accessory to murder • 40 years to serve
Fredrick Smith
second degree murder • 40 years to serve
Juantez McDonald
armed robbery • 40 years to serve
Robert Williams
evasion causing death • 40 years to serve
Martez Harris
manslaughter / drive by shooting • 45 years to serve
Malcolm Weeks
sexual battery • 45 years to serve
Marshall Chandler
kidnapping / aggravated assault • 45 years to serve
Undra Ward
second degree murder / conspiracy • 45 years to serve
Thomas Hooghe
grand larceny / motor vehicle theft • 45 years to serve
Chris Stapleton
sale of cocaine • 50 years to serve
Gregory Moore
house burglary / automobile burglary • 50 years to serve
Dennis Smith
sale of cocaine • 50 years to serve
Derrick Draine
sale of cocaine • 50 years to serve
Shovokie Dixon
sale of cocaine • 50 years to serve
Bruce Shannon
house burglary • 50 years to serve
Nicholas May
sale of cocaine • 50 years to serve
Jimmy Mitchell
sale of cocaine • 50 years to serve
Casey Burgess
sexual battery / aggravated assault • 50 years to serve
Wesley Archie
sale of cocaine • 60 years to serve
Dwayne Boyd
sale of cocaine • 60 years to serve
Dennis Beale
sale of cocaine • 60 years to serve
Gregory Hollins
sale of cocaine • 60 years to serve
Stewart Vaughn
sale of cocaine • 60 years to serve
Charles Collom
sale of methamphetamine • 60 years to serve
Kirby Shavers
kidnapping and rape • 65 years to serve
Kirk Mayers
aggravated assault on law enforcement • 88 years to serve
Xavier Johnson
aggravated assault / burglary / conspiracy • 95 years to serve
Jermaine Mitchell
sale of cocaine as a subsequent offender • 120 years to serve
Jason Flores
murder • life in prison
Daniel Barber
murder • life in prison
Tyrone Vaughan
murder • life in prison
Anthony Perez
murder • life in prison
Corey Sims
murder • life in prison
Chandle Hobson
murder • life in prison
Billy Ray Corken
murder • life in prison
Jerry Durr
murder • life in prison
Robert Harvey Jr
murder • life in prison
Greg Wilder
murder • life in prison
Robert McGuire
murder • life in prison
James Tyler Smith
murder • life in prison
Mack Watts
murder / aggravated assault • life in prison plus 10 years
Melvin Potts
murder / motor vehicle theft • life in prison plus 10 years
Robert Carson
murder / possession of a firearm by convicted felon • life in prison plus 15 years
William Tackett
murder • two consecutive life sentences in prison
Phillip Earl Young
felony evasion / automobile burglary as a habitual offender • life without parole
Kenneth Goldsmith
grand larceny as a habitual offender • life without parole
Chris Hobson
felony evasion / possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as a habitual offender • life without parole
Tony Swinney
robbery as a habitual offender • life without parole
Jerry Whitlock
automobile burglary as a habitual offender • life without parole
James Skinner
felony evasion as a habitual offender • life without parole
Jermaine Stephenson
capital murder • life without parole
Shelia Ealey
capital murder • life without parole
Jonathan Scott Keen
capital murder • life without parole
Walter Burton
capital murder • life without parole
Carla Hughes
capital murder • life without parole
Clarence Jones
capital murder and auto theft • life without parole plus 10 years
Jermaine Tyler
capital murder and auto theft • life without parole plus 15 years
Cortell Rose
capital murder / kidnapping / failure to register / auto theft • life without parole plus 55 years

Gracelyn Trailkill

I first met Gracelyn in 2008 when she was only four years old. Gracelyn is an incredible young girl who was paralyzed as a result of traffic accident caused by a drunk driver. The drunk driver, Tonya Gann, struck the vehicle that Gracelyn and her mother were traveling in as they were returning home from taking Gracelyn’s brothers and sisters to school.

The accident left Gracelyn paralyzed and seriously injured her mother. Tonya Gann, the drunk driver, was arrested, convicted and was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison. I recently saw Gracelyn and her mother when Gracelyn competed in and won a talent contest at Brandon Middle School. Gracelyn’s performance and courage brought the entire audience to their feet as she received a prolonged standing ovation. Gracelyn is a talented and courageous young lady who has overcome numerous challenges in her life. I cannot fully express the impact that Gracelyn and her family has had on me, as a father and a husband. Her faith and strength continues to inspire me and reminds me not to take for granted the many blessings that God has provided.

The District Attorney’s Bad Check and Asset Forfeiture Units

In addition to criminal prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office operates two specialized units to assist the public and law enforcement. The first is our Bad Check Unit which assists local merchants in recovering funds from those who have written worthless checks. Since I have been in office, our Bad Check Unit has recovered more than $3,520,000 in checks and fees.

The Bad Check Unit also offers information through our public service programs allowing merchants to warn would-be criminals of the consequences of passing worthless checks. These materials are available free of charge to our local businesses. Please visit www.daguest.com to request a packet.

The District Attorney’s Office also operates our Asset Forfeiture Unit which works with local law enforcement agencies in Madison and Rankin counties in the seizure of property or money that is used by those selling or transporting narcotics. This allows us to not only hold drug dealers criminally responsible but also to deny them from financially benefitting from their illegal acts. I am pleased to announce that since I became District Attorney we have able to work with our Sheriffs’ Departments and Police Departments to seize and forfeit a total of 424 vehicles and more than $17,500,000.

Public Service Programs

As District Attorney, I have worked with law enforcement officials in Madison and Rankin counties to implement two public service programs to help protect our citizens and to seek help from the public in apprehending fugitives from justice. The first is a program designed to warn would-be criminals of the consequences of their crimes. We have placed information at local businesses throughout the district warning people of potential jail time if they use a weapon in the commission of a robbery. The second program is the District Attorney’s Most Wanted. This program is a partnership with Sheriff Bryan Bailey, Sheriff Randy Tucker and WJTV. The Most Wanted highlights criminals who have failed to appear for court and have outstanding indictments or warrants for their arrest. Through tips called in by area viewers, law enforcement has been able to capture more than 100 wanted felons highlighted by this program. For more information about either of these programs, or to view our current most wanted, please visit www.daguest.com.

Drug Court

We are all aware of the growing problem of drug and alcohol abuse and the effects it has on our families and our society. As District Attorney, I understand the need to see that criminals are not only held responsible for their actions, but also that these individuals are provided with the necessary tools to overcome the addictiveness to drugs and alcohol. In 2011, a drug court was established in Madison and Rankin counties to help non-violent, first time offenders to receive help. This is a multi-year program that includes intense supervision, drug and alcohol testing, and drug and alcohol counseling. The program, which began with three individuals, now has 130 participants and offers men and women an opportunity to forever rid their lives of drugs and alcohol and to return as productive members of our community.

New Circuit Court Judge

In 2015, the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Senate determined, based upon population growth and caseload, that our judicial district should receive an additional circuit court judge. A special election was held in November of 2015 to fill this newly created judgeship. Steve Ratcliff was elected to serve as our newest circuit court judge. Judge Ratcliff brings twenty five years of legal practice and many years of judicial experience to this position.

Judge Ratcliff joins current Circuit Court Judge William Chapman and Judge John Emfinger in presiding over the felony criminal cases prosecuted in Madison and Rankin counties. With the addition of a third circuit court judge, it is our belief that the criminal justice system will continue to hold criminals accountable and bring defendants to justice in a timely manner.

Working to Keep You Informed

Over the years we have worked to keep the public informed of the accomplishments of your District Attorney’s Office. In addition to our website, www.daguest.com, we have now incorporated various aspects of social media in an effort to keep you better informed. Last year we added an application for your smartphone that allows you to readily receive information about your District Attorney’s Office. The application can be downloaded from our website or you can search for the application at the app store by searching “DA Michael Guest.” We hope that you will continue to want to receive information about your criminal justice system through social media by visiting us on Facebook at “DA Michael Guest” and Twitter “@DA_MichaelGuest.”

Conclusion

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your District Attorney and for taking the time to read our annual report. We encourage you to share this information with others so that they can see the successes of our criminal justice system. If you would like more information about your District Attorney’s Office, you can visit our website, www.daguest.com, by visiting us on Facebook at “DA Michael Guest” and Twitter “@DA_MichaelGuest”. You can also get up to date information by downloading our smartphone application. The application can be downloaded from our website or you can search for the application at the app store by searching “DA Michael Guest.” Thank you again for your support and please enjoy living in Madison and Rankin Counties.