EXCLUSIVE: Two DHS embezzlement case defendants appear in court

Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 7:29 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Two of the defendants in the DHS embezzlement case are on camera for the first time since their arrests earlier this month.

Former Mississippi Department of Human Services Director John Davis and the accountant for the non-profit Mississippi Community Education Center Ann McGrew were both in Hinds County court Wednesday.

They are the two defendants assigned to Judge Adrienne Wooten. She previously set bail at $150,000 for Davis and $200,000 for McGrew.

Both were in Wooten’s courtroom for their arraignments. Although they had to post bail, the District Attorney’s office had recommended no bail for all the defendants in the case.

“It’s the policy of our office that bond is used strictly for flight risk and individuals who are safety risks for our community," explained Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens. "And these defendants were neither. They have strong ties to the community. And our position is that bond be used solely for those purposes. So, the District Attorney’s office recommended they be released on their own recognizance. We think that bond does not make us safer as a community and certainly is not impactful in bringing people back to court.”

Both Davis and McGrew entered not guilty pleas.

“Usually, at this point in time, the defendants are waiting for discovery from the DA’s office," explained Owens. "So, this week we’ll be giving all the defendants the discovery in the case which will allow them to evaluate the evidence that we have against them and what evidence the grand jury used to reach the conclusion of a true bill.”

The other defendants’ cases were assigned to different judges and have not yet had their arraignments.

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