After a strongly-worded brief by Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office stating that former JPD officer Anthony Fox not only shouldn’t have been convicted but never should have been indicted, Hinds District Attorney Jody Owens has fired back in an Amicus brief.
Fox was convicted of culpable negligence manslaughter last August in the death of George Robinson, AKA “Killer George”, in a trial full of controversy that seemed to have more underlying dynamics that seem to be lost on those not in the courtroom at the time.
Robinson, who was on blood thinners, died in January 2019 after an encounter with Fox and two other officers followed by several undocumented hours at the Mustang Motel in Jackson.
Owens’ camp pulled pieces of specific medical testimony to paint a picture that said there was sufficient evidence to support a jury’s conviction of Fox on culpable negligence manslaughter to counter Fitch’s contention that four medical experts who said Fox was not responsible for Robinson’s death.
It is unprecedented that an Attorney General’s office admits fault in an entire case, not just a minor detail like a jury instruction or something of the like, experts say. Fitch’s brief adds to a pile of other agencies who have said that Fox is not guilty or culpable in Robinson’s death, to include the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Jackson Police Department, and Clinton Police Department, in addition to a ruling by Federal Judge Carlton Reeves that he was protected by qualified immunity.
When the other two officers accused alongside Fox went to trial in Judge Faye Peterson’s court, she threw the case out with prejudice, ruling that there was no evidence that the officers should even have gone to trial.
Now the State seems to be in a stalemate after both agencies find themselves in a place where they’re unable to agree on the issue, which like everything else in the trial, is somewhat unprecedented.
But Owens’ camp stakes its weight on the fact that a jury did convict Fox in Robinson’s death. There are questions circulating the legal community about the fact that after a two-week trial full of prosecution witnesses called “unreliable” by the AG’s office, four medical testimonies, and eyewitness testimonies from other officers as to why the jury did not have any questions for the court. It is required that a jury’s questions must be presented in open court, and none were presented. The AG noted in her brief that there were also problems with the jury instructions, though the brief did not elaborate.
Attorneys say an amicus brief doesn’t have any legal weight, but that it is a chance for a “friend of the court” to add information where they feel it needs to be added.
Owens’ brief is below, and Fitch’s below that.