Dewitt Appeals Guilty Verdict

The Harrison County Circuit Court is reviewing former Hancock High teacher Leslie Danielle Dewitt’s appeal after being found guilty on two counts of unlawfully touching a child for lustful purposes.
After a guilty verdict on two counts of unlawfully touching a child for lustful purposes, former Hancock High Coach Leslie Danielle Dewitt is fighting her 30 year sentence. Dewitt’s attorney, Jim Davis, said “We did the motion for a new trial mostly focusing on the fact that they had an incompetent juror, motion to reconsider the sentence and if the judge does not grant the motion for a new trial, we have a motion for a bond pending appeal,” said Davis.
Last month, Dewitt’s attorney, Jim Davis, filed several motions including a request for a new trial based on claims that one juror was not completely honest when questioned about his residency in Hancock County during the selection process. Assistant District Attorney Alison Baker said, “Every defendant always files motion for a new trial. That is something that is standard. They have to do that in order to perfect their appeal to the appellate courts in the state. The main issue here that the defense focused on is the fact that there was a juror that may not have been a qualified voter.”
“He was not a registered voter. He had not lived in the county for a year. He had only lived there for two months so he was clearly not a qualified juror,” said Davis.
After lengthy discussion and presentation of evidence by both parties, the court will now make its final decision regarding the juror in question’s effect on the initial trial. “The mere fact that someone is not a resident of Hancock County doesn’t undo the verdict,” said Baker.
“We’ll present things we could have or should have this time. I’m sure they will, too. Can’t predict a retrial, but we’ll be ready to go for a retrial,” said Davis.

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