Meridian Star

New Today

August 11, 2013

Ware asks judge to make him Hattiesburg mayor

Hattiesburg —

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Lawyers for independent mayoral candidate Dave Ware are asking specially appointed Judge William Coleman to uphold a verdict that would have may him mayor of Hattiesburg.

A hearing in the case is set for Thursday morning.

The Ware motion, filed Friday, takes Coleman to task for requiring the jurors to vote in open court, the Hattiesburg American reports ( The motion states that it was sufficient that all 12 of them agreed that 9-3 was the jury's verdict after more than six hours of deliberation.

Jurors initially voted 9-3 to overturn Democratic incumbent Mayor Johnny DuPree's 37-vote victory. But when the judge polled the jury in open court, the vote tally changed to 8-4 in Ware's favor, a hung jury under Mississippi rules.

"It was reversible error for the trial court to require the jurors to vote in open court," the Ware motion reads. "It was further error not to affirm the verdict properly reached, particularly when it became obvious, through a note from the jury, that the only reason for the 'changed' vote was fear of 'retaliation.'"

If Coleman chooses not to affirm the verdict, Ware's motion requests either a directed verdict from the judge or a new special election.

The motion states Ware is entitled to a directed verdict because of the "unrefuted factual record" demonstrated at the trial that enough illegal votes were cast in DuPree's favor to give Ware the election.

"Ware has proven with mathematical certainty that more than 37 votes for DuPree were illegal and must be excluded from the certified totals," the motion reads, citing the 68 jail and elderly ballots solicited by the mayor's wife, Johniece DuPree, as well as 375 illegally cast absentee ballots.

The motion also states that evidence in the trial demonstrated "a reasonable inference of fraud" or at least "a hint of unseemliness" that calls into question the validity of the election results, compelling a special election if Coleman refuses to rule in Ware's favor regarding the jury verdict or directed verdict.


Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today

Do you think a historic marker should be placed where the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) Building stood?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide