New trial stands in Itawamba Co. traffic fatality

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by prosecutors who were seeking to reinstate Gregory Wayne Hudson’s conviction of culpable-negligence manslaughter in a 2005 wreck that killed a woman in Itawamba County.

The justices say its earlier decision to hear the appeal from the attorney general’s office was “improvidently granted,” meaning the cases should not have come to the justices in the first place. The court did not elaborate on its decision.

Hudson was sentenced in 2008 to 20 years in prison with six years suspended for causing the accident that killed Zelma Holcomb.

The state Court of Appeals last December ordered a new trial for Hudson.

According to the court record, the trial judge instructed jurors about prosecutors’ contention that Hudson was speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road and had ingested drugs.

Hudson challenged the jury instructions in the case.

Hudson’s attorney claimed that the jurors should only be allowed to consider whether or not he used drugs before the accident if they found that he was actually under the influence of drugs at the time of the collision. The judge refused.

The Appeals Court said Hudson’s theory should have been presented to the jury.