• 63°

Officers on trial Tuesday

NATCHEZ — Federal Judge David Bramlette has refused to grant separate trials for two Natchez police officers accused of civil rights violations.

NPD officers Dewayne Johnson and Elvis Prater are scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in the Mississippi Southern Federal District Court on Pearl Street.

A federal public defender requested in a motion on behalf of Prater that his case be severed from Johnson’s case because Prater was not indicted — as Johnson was — for credit card theft and fraud.

Prater said trying the cases together would be “catastrophically and unfairly prejudiced” against his defense because the jury would find Prater guilty by association based on evidence of fraud against Johnson.

Bramlette signed an order denying Prater’s request for severance because Prater failed to use legal citations and specific evidence in his reasoning. Bramlette said the officers were working together as NPD officers and arrested the victims at the same time, so there was no question that defendants are “alleged to have participated in the same series of acts,” which merits a joint trial, according to the order.

Prater and Johnson were indicted Aug. 20 on charges of civil rights violations and making false statements. Johnson was also indicted on one count of conspiracy. They were released on their own recognizance.

Both men face two counts of civil rights violations for the alleged May 2009 beating of two men they had arrested.

Prater faces one count of making false statements to federal investigators; Johnson faces two counts of the same charge.

Johnson also faces one count of conspiracy that alleges he stole credit and debit cards from the arrested man, obtained the PIN for the cards from the victim and called a relative to meet him at a store.

Johnson reportedly told Patricia Wilson to use one of the cards to make purchases, including beer for a party he was planning.

Prater and Johnson have been on unpaid administrative leave since October until the outcome of the trial.

News

City receives $1.2 million for emergency bluff stabilization project

News

Update: Suspect in Tuesday morning shooting arrested

News

UPDATE: Missing juvenile found

News

Family searching for missing teen

Business

Natchez trucking company in need of CDL drivers

News

Mississippi to end federal unemployment supplement

News

Two children injured in dirt bike accident when struck by car

News

Victims identified in fatal crash Thursday in Vidalia

News

Katie’s Ladies model celebrates 102nd birthday

News

Dart: Natchez is second home to radio show producer, DJ

News

Trial delayed for Adams County murder suspect

News

One dead, 2 injured in two vehicle wreck in Vidalia

News

CPSB selects two finalists for next superintendent

Business

Atmos Energy replacing gas pipes for some Natchez residents

News

Schools to get $31 million for COVID-19

News

Man sentenced to 40 years Wednesday for killing step-daughter, injuring 3 other relatives

News

Officials working to bring commercial flights to Natchez-Adams Airport

News

Five candidates remaining for next CPSB Superintendent

Business

Furdge appointed to Natchez Convention Promotion Commission

COVID-19

Photo gallery: Clinic gives COVID-19 vaccines to inmates with mobile unit

News

Kiwanis Club giving new life to forgotten bike trail

Business

Grant money available to restaurants, bars from American Rescue Plan Act

BREAKING NEWS

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Adams County, school dismissal delayed

News

NOAA weather station off air amid onset of thunderstorms in Adams County