- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Attorney Steve Farese told the Mississippi Court of Appeals that former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis’ 2014 conviction for defrauding the city should be thrown out because of the perception he did not receive a fair trial.

A three-judge panel heard nearly an hour’s worth of arguments Wednesday from Farese and from attorney Barbara Byrd, who represented the state, The Commercial Appeal reported (https://bit.ly/1Q34hO0). Justices said after arguments they would make a decision soon.

The state charged Davis with defrauding Southaven when he bought a city-leased SUV without approval from aldermen in 2009. He purchased the $25,000 vehicle for $11,000 before the city had the option to buy it. At the time, Davis was going through a rocky divorce, had acknowledged he was gay, and had been ordered to repay more than $70,000 in city funds that he was accused of misusing.

Farese argued the trial court erred in failing to grant a change of venue and in failing to declare a mistrial because of discrepancies regarding the vehicle lease. The attorney argued that the pool of potential jurors “was tainted by the press coverage and other publicity” surrounding the case.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com


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