Man accused of shooting local judge in court

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Interesting moments at a court hearing Tuesday involving a man accused of ambushing and shooting a local judge.

Earnest Edwards showed no emotion as he walked into a Lauderdale County Courtroom on July 20th.

Cameras were not allowed inside, but what happened next took members of the court by surprise.

Edwards is accused of shooting Chancery Court Judge Charlie Smith an ambush-style attack in March 2020. Edwards told the judge at the July 20th preliminary hearing he wasn’t ready to proceed.

Edwards stood up; told the court he thought another judge was hearing the case then fired his attorney.

“At that point, the judge ended the hearing until as such time as a new council is retained and the new motion is filed. The state was prepared to go forward on the preliminary hearing to show the probable cause for which Mr. Edwards is being held but he declined to proceed, he declined to waive. So, at this point, until the new council is retained the hearing will be delayed,” said 10th Circuit Court District Attorney, Kassie Coleman.

Edwards’ next court date has not been set.

Judge Charlie Smith was shot with a round commonly used for hunting. The bullet entered his hip- knocking the cap off his femur. That caused extensive bleeding. Fortunately, Judge Smith recovered and is doing well.

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