Court of Appeals to convene at Mississippi Valley State Oct. 9

October 1, 2012

The Mississippi Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the campus of Mississippi Valley State University at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 9. A three-judge panel of the court will convene at the Social Science Building at 14000 Highway 82 West in Itta Bena.

The Court of Appeals periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses and occasionally at other locations as a teaching tool for students. It is known as the Court on the Road program. This will be the second time that the court has convened on the MVSU campus.

Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Tyree Irving said that hearing cases away from the court’s Jackson chambers provides an opportunity to educate the community about the work of appellate courts.

Judge Irving said, “Many people’s concept of the court is what they see on television. By getting an opportunity to observe our Court on the Road program, I think it will give a very realistic view of what the court does and debunk some of the notions that are not very positive about how justice is dispensed. The community will be able to see that when judges sit down to decide cases, we are serious, we are not making fun of parties that come before the court, we are not scolding them.”

The oral arguments are open to any student or member of the public. People wishing to watch the oral arguments are asked to be in their seats 15 minutes before the oral arguments are scheduled to begin.

“All can benefit from seeing how courts work in real life,” Judge Irving said.

Judge Irving said the proceedings may be especially helpful to criminal justice students. “This is a way to bring to life for them in a practical way what they may be getting in theory in their courses.”

The Court of Appeals began the Court on the Road program as a part of its regular calendar for oral arguments in 2005. Chief Judge Joe Lee this year increased the number of college campus and county courthouse visits.

The Court of Appeals will convene on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi on Oct. 4. A panel will hear oral arguments at Mississippi State University on Nov. 13. The court convened at Mississippi College School of Law and the University of Mississippi School of Law this past April, at the Adams County Courthouse in Natchez on Aug. 8, and at Jones County Junior College on Sept. 11.

Oral arguments scheduled for Oct. 9 in Itta Bena include two criminal appeals. Oral arguments will be heard at 10 a.m. in the case of Joseph Robert Reith v. State of Mississippi, Case. No. 2011-KA-01591-COA. Oral arguments are scheduled at 1 p.m. in the case of Stanley McGlasten a/k/a Stanley McGlaston v. State of Mississippi, Case No. 2012-KA-0070-COA.

Each oral argument is expected to last approximately an hour. The appellant and appellee are each allowed 30 minutes.

Reith was convicted of murder in Madison County Circuit Court on Sept. 21, 2011. Circuit Judge William E. Chapman III sentenced Reith to life in prison. Reith was arrested March 23, 2010. His ex-wife, Tammy Reith of Ridgeland, was found beaten and stabbed in Joseph Reich’s Canton apartment. Testimony showed that Tammy Reich had said she planned to take their son and move to Alaska.

Attorney George T. Holmes of the Indigent Appeals Division of the Office of the State Public Defender represents Reich. Special Assistant Attorney General Laura H. Tedder represents the Attorney General’s office.

Stanley McGlasten was convicted Aug. 24, 2011, in Jasper County Circuit Court, on a charge of uttering a forgery. Testimony showed that McGlasten on June 17, 2010, cashed a check in the amount of $502.25 written to him on the account of a Bay Springs muffler shop. McGlasten testified that a third party asked for his help to cash a check for wages, and that he did not know that the check was stolen, court records show. Circuit Judge Eddie Bowen sentenced McGlasten to a term of six years, with five years to serve and a year of post-release supervision.

Hunter N. Aiken of the Indigent Appeals Division of the Office of the State Public Defender represents McGlasten. Special Assistant Attorney General Stephanie B. Wood represents the Attorney General’s office.

The oral arguments will not be broadcast via the court’s Internet web site, since the Court of Appeals is convening a special session away from its camera-equipped courtroom.

Any media organization which may wish to photograph or videotape the arguments must file a Camera Coverage Notice at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the proceedings. Camera Coverage Notices should be directed to Clerk of the Court Kathy Gillis, fax 601-359-2407, and to Assistant Court Administrator Katie Cassady, fax 601-576-4708. The Camera Coverage Notice form is at: Click Here.

Photographers and videographers should be familiar with and follow the Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings. The camera coverage rules are available on the Mississippi Judiciary web site at: Click Here.