Court’s not in session: A judge campaigns while his cases backlog


Jeff Weill campaign FacebookJudge Jeff Weill
More than three years have passed since officers arrested 22-year-old Andre Kennedy in connection with the kidnapping and robbery of an Eastover doctor which left one suspect dead.
After several delays, Kennedy’s trial was set to begin Tuesday, Nov. 13. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Weill, who is campaigning in a runoff for a seat on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, abruptly continued the case, notifying counsel of the cancellation Nov. 12.
Kennedy, a former guard at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, is accused of kidnapping a doctor from his Eastover home, forcing the man to drive him and another suspect to an ATM to withdraw money. The doctor turned a gun on his attackers and shot and killed suspect Edwin Robinson, according to media reports. Kennedy’s trial has been rescheduled for Dec. 10.
Weill has sparsely conducted trials and hearings during this election season. During the Nov. 6 election, he received 42,643 votes to candidate David McCarty’s 73,898 and Byron Carter’s 33,821 votes. Since no candidate received over 50 percent of the vote, Weill will face McCarty in a Nov. 27 runoff.
Meanwhile, Kennedy has been in jail more than 1,270 days, unable to make bond.
“There are folks sitting in Raymond waiting three years, in some cases five years for a trial and then just to have nearly half a dozen trial weeks in the last couple months canceled is just ludicrous,” said Kennedy’s public defender, Chris Routh.
Routh, who has a contentious history with Weill, filed an official objection to the continuance Tuesday. He said neither the defense or prosecution wanted to delay the case and Weill gave no reason for the continuance.
In 2016, Weill found Routh in contempt of court and briefly jailed him following a courtroom spat. Politics runs deep in the Hinds County Courthouse: Routh has campaigned