Hood seeks answers from high court on Byrom ruling

HOOD

HOOD

By Jack Elliott Jr.

Associated Press

JACKSON – Attorney General Jim Hood is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to explain why it threw out the conviction of a death row inmate in the slaying of her husband.

The court on Monday overturned Michelle Byrom’s capital murder conviction and ordered Tishomingo County to hold a new trial. The court did not elaborate on its decision.

Byrom, now 57, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 2000 for the killing of her husband, Edward “Eddie” Byrom Sr., and for recruiting her son in the plot. Byrom Sr. was fatally shot on June 4, 1999, at the couple’s home in Iuka.

Hood, in a document filed Tuesday with the court, said justices owe an explanation to the trial judge so he can understand the issues he will hear in a new trial.

“The State would assert that the court has embarked on an unprecedented course of action that leaves everyone questioning why,” Hood added.

“Without knowing what this court considers to be reversible error in this case, where each and every issue has been previously found not to be error the prosecution and the trial court will be at a loss with how to proceed on the various issues that will surely arise once again” in a retrial, he continued.

Byrom’s attorneys said they have new evidence in the case and that Byrom now argues that her son committed the slaying.

She further argues in court briefs that her son confessed in conversations with a forensic psychologist. According to the briefs, she also asserts that the statements were discussed with the trial judge but were never revealed to Michelle Byrom or her attorneys before her trial. She also says a psychologist was not allowed to testify about them.

Hood, in his new filing, said every claim made by Byrom has been rejected by state and federal courts.

“The court stated no reason for this reversal of a conviction and sentence of death that it has twice upheld with reasoned opinions,” Hood said.