Feds: Former Hinds Co. interim sheriff claimed he didn’t have authority to investigate crimes, hire employees, as bribery trial looms

Lawyer for Marshand Crisler says former sheriff lacked authority to cash in on promises made to convicted felon at center of federal case
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 7:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Court filings in the federal bribery case of former Hinds County interim sheriff Marshand Crisler reveal that Crisler refused to acknowledge he had the authority to investigate crimes and move inmates around at the Raymond Detention Center.

Crisler, who was indicted by a grand jury in April, faces two charges: bribery and sale or disposal of ammunition to a convicted felon.

An unidentified convicted felon at the center of the case claimed in court documents that Crisler promised him a job, protection for a jailed family member and assured the felon that he would know about any criminal investigations involving him.

John Colette, Crisler’s attorney, acknowledged that the sheriff has the authority to investigate criminal activity but refutes the claim that the former interim sheriff had broad authority to move inmates or hire whoever he wanted for the sheriff’s office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a motion on August 11 that Mississippi law spells out what a sheriff has the authority to do, and they want the judge in this case to let that law speak for itself in this case.

Colette said Crisler did not use that authority to protect that felon from arrest or prosecution if he was caught with a firearm, despite claims from the federal government.

Crisler maintains he is not guilty in this case.

Trial begins the first week of September.

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