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Jeffries v. State

December 17, 1998

CYNTHIA M. JEFFRIES
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



Before Pittman, P.j., Smith And Mills, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/19/1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. SHIRLEY C. BYERS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - MISDEMEANOR

DISPOSITION: REVERSED AND RENDERED - 12/17/98

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. Cynthia M. Jeffries was convicted of criminal contempt in the Circuit Court of Washington County and sentenced to seventy-two hours in the county jail. Aggrieved by the contempt conviction, Jeffries appeals.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

¶2. Cynthia Jeffries is a reporter for the Delta Democrat Times, the local newspaper in Greenville, Mississippi. She attended an open court manslaughter sentencing hearing on June 6, 1997, for Brian Hollingsworth in the Circuit Court of Washington County. Various Hollingsworth family members and family members of the victim were also in attendance. The prosecutor discussed portions of Hollingsworth's juvenile record in an effort to persuade the Judge to impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter. After the statements of counsel, Judge Shirley Byers asked Jeffries to approach the bench. Judge Byers discussed the following with Jeffries:

BY THE COURT: In a juvenile record, that is not to be recorded in the paper. That is a juvenile - - that is a juvenile record.

BY MS. JEFFERS[SIC]: Okay.

BY THE COURT: What Mr. Kilpatrick stated, you need to get those off of your notes and they are not to be published in the paper and if I find that they are published I am bringing you back to the Court and finding ...


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