Several documents released by the Department of Public Safety were heavily redacted when it came to an alleged altercation between Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens and a man who claimed Owens was romantically involved with his girlfriend.
WLBT reporter CJ LeMaster was able to access an exclusive copy of the unredacted incident report, however, and fleshed out the details in a story published Tuesday evening.
According to the documents, there is a discrepancy between what was said by Owens and what was said by Joshua Towns, who claimed Owens came to his girlfriend Samantha Grant’s apartment and threatened him with a gun. Owens told police that Grant had called him to say that Towns had become abusive. The DA told police that when he got there, there was loud music coming from the apartment and nobody was answering the door. Finally he said Towns came to the door, and at that point Owens alleges he simply asked Towns to leave.
Owens was wearing a holster when police arrived, but not a gun, WLBT reports.
Towns claims to be dating Grant, who is Owens’ chief of staff. Towns told police he believes she and Owens to be in a romantic relationship. Owens is married, and denied the allegations, telling WLBT simply that he’s known Grant “his whole damn life.”
Owens instructed LeMaster to google Towns’ alleged criminal dealings, which simply turned up a WDAM article about a Joshua Towne arrested for firing more than a dozen shots outside a home in 2017. It’s unclear if he was ever charged in that or any case.
Owens also denied ever pointing a gun at Towns, saying he wouldn’t point a gun at a citizen unless his life were in danger.
Owens released the following statement Tuesday evening:
“The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office is aware of the false reporting that has
come out today, alleging that Hinds County District Attorey Jody E. Owens, Il pulled
a firearm on an individual and has been charged with misdemeanor, as a result. This
reporting is patently false. The District Attorney has neither pulled a fire arm on anyone,
nor has he been charged with any criminal offense.
With respect to the privacy and safety of our staff members, the facts are that a
member of the Hinds County District Attomey’s Office has been the victim of
domestic violence. The perpetrator has no association with the District Attorney’s
Office. As is commonly known in cases of domestic violence, a victim’s privacy and
safety are of tantamount concern; therefore, we decline to release more information
related to the matter, at this time. However, we can say that this allegation is, simply,
an attempt to conceal the truth.
As always, the Office stands by all victims of domestic violence, and we will continue
to respect the privacy of our colleague, as we do all crime victims. The Office
understands that due to the recent high profile indictments and convictions, we will
be a target of false stories and accusations, but we will continue to do the work
necessary to uphold the law and represent the citizens of Hinds County.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of domestic violence, you can call the
Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or contact Hinds County District
Attorney’s Office for assistance and resources.”
It’s unclear why many of the details were redacted, though DPS stated that the redacted parts are part of the investigation. It’s also unclear why Owens was called instead of police if there were a struggle between Towns and Grant.
So far no charges have been pressed.