Decatur Man Charged with Intimidating a Witness

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department began an investigation Thursday evening after witnesses reported hearing a shot fired downtown. No one was injured.

It allegedly happened after a chancery court hearing around 5:15 p.m.

According to witnesses, Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said both parties were escorted by deputies out of the building after the hearing. He said the first party left and then the second party came out of the building. Witnesses say the first party returned and that's when gunshots were allegedly fired.

Calhoun said, based on a vehicle description, a traffic stop was made less than an hour later on Highway 80 West near Meehan.

Three people in the car were initially taken into custody for questioning.

One man, 27-year-old Joshua A. Robinson, of Decatur, Miss., has been charged with intimidation of a witness.

"We are still investigating all of the circumstances behind this incident that occurred yesterday afternoon," Calhoun said Friday.

Calhoun said many emotional issues are disputed in chancery court. In this case, the emotions were allegedly taken outside of the building.

"Any time you have two parties in some type of legal dispute, and in this case it was in the chancery court, that court hears matters involving custody, land disputes, those types of things, many times emotions run high," said Calhoun. "Sometimes those emotions will spill out of the courtroom onto the street."

Calhoun said he recognizes the danger of the alleged shooting. He says deputies and other security officers always try to prevent these types of situations.

"We make a very conscious effort to make sure the courthouse is secure and operates in a very orderly fashion and we don't allow things to spill out into the streets," said Calhoun. "Yesterday afternoon I think we did a good job of trying to make sure that didn't happen. These individuals had been gone for several minutes when it appears they returned."

Although one arrest has been made, this case is still under investigation. The findings will be presented to the next grand jury.


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