January 11, 2024

Supreme Court to review appeal bond request for former Detective Anthony Fox

Therese Apel

Anthony Fox

One of the most controversial cases in recent Jackson history has seen yet another twist.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Mississippi State Supreme Court will review the Appelate Court’s decision to deny an appeal bond to former Jackson and Clinton police officer Anthony Fox after his much-debated conviction of culpable negligence manslaughter in the death of George Robinson in January 2019.

In a rare move, six of the justices agreed to suspend the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure to look again at whether Fox should be allowed bail pending his appeal.

Justice Robert Chamberlain, Chief Justice Michael Randolph, and Justices Dawn Beam, James Maxwell, David Ishee, and Kenneth Griffis ruled in favor of the move, while Justices James Kitchens, Leslie King, and Josiah Coleman dissented.


The subject of the dissent was whether there was enough good cause to reconsider bail. Originally the appeals court had denied it on a tie of five to five, which generally goes in favor of the trial court.

Breaking it down to that level though, the trial itself was markedly controversial, and has since been said by many legal professionals to have been unprecedented in some of the procedures and behaviors exhibited in the overall prosecution and in the courtroom.

Since that time, Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office issued an opinion that Fox’s conviction should be overturned and his case thrown out. 

“This effort to divert the Court’s attention from the material facts that decide this case — and to do so based on unfounded factual claims — confirms that the verdict here is insupportable and should be reversed,” the AG’s Office asserted in the opinion.

Four medical experts testified to the fact that there was nothing to say that Fox is responsible for Robinson’s death, given that he was on blood thinners.

The court did not allow discussion of something Robinson allegedly swallowed as he struggled with police. The initial description of the incident by the District Attorney’s office was that Fox and his two co-defendants had beaten, stomped, kicked, and punched Robinson. That accusation was widely accepted and disseminated by the media even after it was proven not to be true, and the DA’s office used that language throughout the case.

Medical evidence presented by multiple medical experts, some working pro-bono, showed none of that had happened.

Judge Adrienne Wooten claimed that Fox, a decorated narcotics officer, was a “special danger” to the community.

The case against the two other officers involved, Lincoln Lampley and Desmond Barney, was thrown out of court with prejudice by Judge Faye Peterson, who said the prosecution had not met their burden of proof. All three officers were cleared by Jackson Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, as well as by the FBI. Federal Judge Carlton Reeves issued an opinion that the three were covered by qualified immunity.

Darkhorse Press was the only media in the courtroom during Fox’s trial until the last day.

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