Feds reveal existence of recordings in bribery case against former Hinds Co. interim sheriff

DVD containing recordings of meetings, phone calls involving Marshand Crisler placed under seal to avoid tainting potential jurors
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 6:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Federal investigators have recordings of former Hinds County Interim Sheriff Marshand Crisler that could be powerful enough to influence a jury in his upcoming bribery trial, according to a court document filed this week by the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the matter.

The motion in limine filed by the federal government Monday revealed the existence of those recordings, saying the prosecution intends to introduce portions of recorded conversations and transcripts accompanying them.

“The Government has identified portions of recorded conversations which it believes are relevant and admissible, specifically portions of conversations that will allow a jury to determine whether they believe there is sufficient evidence to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges in the indictment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kirkham said in the motion, though he did not elaborate on what those recordings contain.

The recordings of meetings and phone calls -- and transcripts -- have been placed under restriction or seal at the insistence of the federal government because it argues the content in those conversations could potentially taint the jury pool through pre-trial publicity.

A federal grand jury indicted Crisler in late April on two charges: bribery and sale or disposal of ammunition to a convicted felon.

Crisler pleaded not guilty to both charges and awaits trial in September.

In the motion, Kirkham also argues against the defendant providing additional excerpts of those recorded conversations unless the defendant can prove those portions are necessary for the jury to fairly judge the case.

Kirkham said any other portions that the defendant cites but cannot prove are necessary, would essentially be “self-serving hearsay” and would not be admissible in court.

Crisler’s attorney, John Colette, would not comment on the motion but told WLBT he plans to file a response soon.

Investigators said the two crimes took place while Crisler served as interim sheriff in 2021.

Crisler is again running for Hinds County sheriff this year.

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