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Court Rejects City's Gambit, Dismisses Case against Barr

Monday, August 3, 2015, 3:50 pm News Flash Archive

The City of Greenwood's plan to deny Mr. Jelani Barr a full vindication in city court fell apart this afternoon when Municipal Court Judge Carlos Palmer rejected City Prosecutor Charlie Swayze III's motion to "nol pross" the case.

Instead, Judge Palmer granted a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning that the charges can never again be re-filed against Mr. Barr.

The City of Greenwood had refused to dismiss the case against Barr with prejudice. Barr was illegally arrested by city police April 7 of this year. Our complete coverage of the city's prosecution strategy, which would deny Mr. Barr a full vindication while refusing to prosecute the case or present any evidence, may be read here: City Refuses to Finally Dismiss Case against Barr

Had the court granted the city's motion for "nol pross," Barr could have been charged again at a later time with the same false allegations.

But Judge Palmer rejected that motion, and instead dismissed the case outright, a complete victory for Barr and his attorney, Tom Calhoun.

The court proceedings took place before a packed city court venue at the Sheriff Department building south of the Industrial Park, because the city courtroom on Main Street is undergoing extensive renovations.

Just before 3 pm this afternoon, Judge Palmer called Prosecutor Swayze and Mr. Calhoun to the bench, and conducted most of the proceedings in hushed tones. Mr. Swayze declined to offer any argument in favor of his motion, stating aloud that it "speaks for itself." Mr. Calhoun argued against the prosecutor's motion, asking the court to dismiss the case outright.

When asked by the Court why the city had failed to subpoena the arresting police officer Lt. Randy Powell, Swayze said he didn't intend to present any evidence, and stated: "If I had an adequate basis [for going forward with the prosecution], I wouldn't have filed the motion for nol pross."

Powell has since been fired from his job with the City of Greenwood for misconduct in the arrest. Our coverage may be seen here: Greenwood fires police officer in Jelani Barr arrest

In the end, Judge Palmer could not be convinced by the city to sign the order of Nolle Prosequi, and instead signed an order of dismissal with prejudice, as Barr's attorney Tom Calhoun had asked.

After waiting in court for most of an hour while other cases were heard, the Barr prosecution collapsed after only 15 minutes, around 3:15 this afternoon.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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