Neilson can't push feud angle, judge rules

ABERDEEN – FBI agent Hal Neilson of Oxford cannot claim to a jury that he was indicted because of a feud with then-U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Neilson is set to go on trial Nov. 8 in Aberdeen on charges he failed to disclose his financial interest in the FBI Office Building in Oxford.
He and his attorney, Christi R. McCoy of Oxford, insist he is innocent and that Greenlee was out to get him because they disagreed about numerous investigations and cases handled through their offices in north Mississippi.
Monday, District Judge Sharion Aycock said Neilson cannot mention this animosity to a jury or present evidence of it. She termed the issue called “selective prosecution” improper and irrelevant to the jury’s decision as to whether he had a conflict of interest or made false statements.
She also said the defense cannot talk about why prosecutors from the Middle District of Louisiana will present the case.
They were called in after the Northern Mississippi office withdrew because of potential conflicts of interest.
On two government motions, Aycock granted a hearing about authentication of bank documents and declared two potential witnesses as experts.
Last week, Greenlee declined to comment on Neilson’s claims.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662)678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

PATSY BRUMFIELD / NEMS Daily Journal