Judge looking at dates for Vines hearing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NATCHEZ — Judge Joe Webster said Monday he is trying to establish a date for a hearing on M.L. “Binkey” Vines’ sentence.

Webster said he has received Attorney General Jim Hood’s motion to sentence Vines and is reviewing the document.

Courtroom and lawyer availability, Webster said, will play a role in determining a hearing date.

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Webster said he has no idea when a date could be set.

Hood’s office filed a motion last week that requested Vines be immediately sentenced.

On Sept. 26 Vines was indicted on 13 counts of embezzlement.

On May 4, Vines pleaded guilty to three counts from the original indictment.

Webster then refused to accept his plea and did not sentence Vines but rather gave him one year of probation.

The attorney general’s office said Vines violated the terms of his probation when he refused to provide his office’s records for the Adams County audit.

“We were informed on Oct. 26, that Mr. Vines had failed to comply with the court’s order regarding his initial plea. After our investigation, we immediately filed a motion to revoke Vines’ non-adjudication, to accept his guilty plea on the three pending felony charges and to immediately proceed to sentence Vines in this matter,” Hood said in a written statement on Nov. 1.

Still missing are Vines’ fee journals for 2005 and 2006 along with his civil, criminal and garnishment journals for 2006.

Each of these journals tracks money that has come into Adams County.