Local DA Opens New Probe into Courthouse Incident in MS Senate Race

JACKSON, Mississippi — After the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department closed its investigation into how three supporters of state Sen. Chris McDaniel were locked inside a courthouse after midnight—clearing the conservative activists of any accusations of wrongdoing—the local District Attorney has decided to open up a new investigation.

Hinds County Board of Supervisors member Robert Graham asked DA Robert Shuler Smith to launch a new investigation into the matter on Friday. “There are just too many questions left unanswered, and I have a great concern for WHY people were inside the Hinds County Courthouse after hours,” Graham said in a press release according to a local television station. “There must be accountability.”

WJTV in Jackson reports that the DA has opened up its own investigation. “After some conversation with Graham, the District Attorney has agreed to investigate the situation further,” WJTV’s Donesha Aldridge wrote.

The new probe comes a day after the Hinds County Sheriff’s office determined that the three McDaniel supporters—McDaniel campaign coalitions director Scott Brewster, Central Mississippi Tea Party leader Janis Lane, and longtime GOP operative Rob Chambers—who were locked inside the courthouse after midnight on election night did nothing wrong. 

“The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation into why three tea party members with ties to the Chris McDaniel campaign were found locked inside of a Hinds County Courthouse,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Based on our findings and subsequent conclusion, there is no reason to believe that the three individuals engaged in any criminal activity nor do we believe any laws were broken.”

The Sheriff’s office statement adds that “no one was apprehended in this process, and as it stands, this investigation is closed.”

Other than a brief statement issued the night the first investigation was reported, the McDaniel campaign has declined to answer questions about the matter on the record.


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