TUPELO – Murder suspect Jason Matthews wants to be tried separately from two others indicted with him in the 2007 shooting death of Travis Brown.
His attorney Kelly Mims of Tupelo filed a motion Monday saying that his client cannot get a fair trial if he is tried in May with James Knowles and Christopher Hughes.
The three men, who pleaded not guilty, have been in jail since their arrests shortly after the shooting. Brown was shot and died of his wound after he answered the door at the friend’s house.
They are accused of capital murder, which is murder committed during another felony, in this case conspiracy to commit armed robbery. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
Today, the court will hear pre-trial motions related to the men’s case.
Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner III set the trial to begin May 11, exactly two years after 27-year-old Brown died.
Attorneys for co-defendant Christopher Hughes will ask him to suppress evidence about a 45-caliber semi-automatic handgun seized at 1410 Ida St. soon after the shooting.
The State Crime Lab, his motion states, found none of Hughes’ fingerprints on the weapon and couldn’t positively say the spent shells were fired by the weapon.
Since their representation began, attorneys have asked for more money to hire investigators and specialists to look for evidence that may help their clients.
Other attorneys in the case are Bryan Jaxon Petty and Lori N. Basham for Hughes, Will Bristow and William Stennett for Knowles and Thomas H. Comer Jr. for Matthews.
On case documents Knowles, 20, lists his address as 509 CR 1201, Plantersville; Matthews, 25, 119 Triplett St., Okolona; and Hughes, 24, no address.
Their indictment accuses them of conspiring to rob Bobby Lee Keller, who lived at 615 Magnolia St.
Three women are accused with them in the robbery conspiracy, and one of them is accused of lying afterward to Tupelo police investigators. They are out on bond.
The capital murder trial date has been moved several times, for various reasons.
Trying to take advantage of that, attorney Petty asks the judge to dismiss charges against his client for lack of a speedy trial.
Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal