Jackson man who was afraid of dying behind bars to be released on plea deal

Circuit Judge Faye Peterson accepts a plea deal from Anthony Thomas.
Circuit Judge Faye Peterson accepts a plea deal from Anthony Thomas.(WLBT)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 12:24 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jackson man is set to be released from the Hinds County Detention Center within 24 hours, after a judge finally accepted his plea deal.

Anthony Thomas has entered a plea of guilty to a 2012 marijuana possession charge. Circuit Judge Faye Peterson accepted the plea Monday.

The plea comes less than two months after Thomas agreed to a plea deal of a roughly eight-year suspended sentence and weeks after his previous judge, Adrienne Wooten, recused herself from the case.

“We’re going to catch up on lost time,” said Heather Scott, Thomas’s girlfriend.

Thomas is expected to be released within the next 24 hours. From there, he will have 48 hours to get in touch with a probation officer.

The plea deal includes an seven-year 364-day suspended sentence, along with five years of supervised release.

Peterson also gave Thomas a day to serve because of a methamphetamine conviction. That conviction came more than eight years ago. Thomas’ attorney told the judge that her client thought that charge had been adjudicated.

Peterson made one “minor change” to the plea agreement, saying Thomas should serve one day in the custody of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office. However, Thomas received credit for that day based on time already served.

Thomas was arrested on September 19, after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Wooten issued the warrant after the defendant failed to show up court multiple times.

On October 13, while at the jail, Thomas accepted the state’s offer of an eight-year suspended sentence.

A day later, a plea petition was filed with the court, asking Wooten to set a plea hearing for the next available date, according to court records.

Wooten set a plea date but later canceled it and on November 19, recused herself from the case. According to her one-page order, she said that “judges should disqualify themselves in proceedings in which their impartiality might be questioned by a reasonable person knowing all the circumstances or for other grounds provided in the Code of Judicial Conduct or otherwise as provided by law.”

Thomas was accused of possessing 422.3 grams of marijuana, in violation of state statute. Also arrested in that case was Keisha Brown Gordon. Her case was slated to go to trial in November.

Mississippi Electronic Courts records do not indicate whether the case went to trial as scheduled.

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