Confrontation issue back before Mississippi high court from DeSoto County case

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Prosecutors want the Mississippi Supreme Court to reinstate the conviction of Jeffrey Dale Beecham, who won a new trial on charges that he was intoxicated when he caused a 2007 accident in DeSoto County in which an elderly woman died.

Prosecutors say Beecham’s blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The state Court of Appeals last year ordered a new trial for Beecham on grounds that his attorney was not allowed to question the doctor who prepared Freda Lovelace’s death certificate. Beecham — and the Appeals Court agreed — claimed it was a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accusers.

Over the years, the Supreme Court has ruled on dozens of cases addressing Sixth Amendment claims.