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Lawyer Says AG Campaign Ad Calling His Client a Priest-Murderer Has Tainted Jury Pool

Posted Nov 10, 2011 12:22 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Defense lawyer Brian Alexander claims the Mississippi attorney general managed to taint the jury pool throughout the entire state because of a campaign ad that prejudged the guilt of Alexander’s client.

According to WLOX, Alexander is taking issue with this line in the ad by Attorney General Jim Hood: "Then, the child molester murdered a 70-year-old priest in cold blood." Alexander tells the broadcast station that the reference to his client “is so beyond the pale.” WLOX identifies the client as Jeremy Maineri; his name is also spelled Manieri and Mainieri in various news reports.

Maineri pleaded guilty to molesting a child in 2006 and received a two-year sentence, with one year suspended, the Associated Press reported in July. The sentencing judge became Hood's election opponent.

Hood won re-election on Tuesday, and Alexander contributed to his campaign. But Alexander says Hood erred by running the ad. "I don't know how you unring the bell,” Alexander told WLOX. “My initial thought is maybe a similar campaign of advertisement paid for by the Hood campaign, setting the record straight."

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