Drug arrest headed to grand jury

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NATCHEZ — The man charged in connection with the county’s largest cocaine drug bust has hired a private attorney and will be appearing in front of an Adams County grand jury this spring.

After meeting a $200,000 cash or bail only bond, Joe Wanynide Rounds, 37, of Bedford, Texas, was released from the Adams County jail and did not return for his Adams County preliminary hearing Tuesday morning.

Cynthia Stewart, Rounds’ defense attorney from Madison, sent a letter to the court asking to waive Rounds’ preliminary hearing, thus allowing Judge Charlie Vess to determine whether the case would go before a grand jury.

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“By law, the defendant is waiving his right to hearing the evidence against him,” Vess said.

“Rounds was charged with four crimes — possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine and possession of stolen property.”

Vess said due to the request to waive Rounds’ preliminary hearing, the case no longer fell under the jurisdiction of his court.

“We’ve got a good bond by a bonding company so I don’t feel any reason to have any further dealings with the Rounds case,” Vess said.

“(The bonding company) will continue to guarantee his appearance.”

Vess said Rounds’ case would be bound over to either Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders or Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson within 48 hours of his ruling.

Vess ruled Rounds’ bond would remain at $200,000 with the additional cost of charges for the court’s initial appointment of defense attorney Timothy Cotton to the case.

“Any defendant has an absolute right for a reasonable bond,” Vess said.

The grand jury’s next term is set to begin Monday, March 1 and continue until all cases are heard.