The case involving two white men accused of shooting at a Black FedEx delivery driver has ended in a mistrial in Lincoln County, Miss., after a Brookhaven Police officer withheld evidence from the prosecution and defense.
The defendants, Gregory Case and his son Brandon Case, were charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy and shooting into the vehicle of D’Monterrio Gibson. Their accuser told the Mississippi Free Press in February 2022 that two men confronted him as he was delivering packages in their Lincoln County neighborhood in January 2022, chasing him down and leaving bullet holes in his delivery van. The men were not indicted until November 2022.
The Associated Press reported this morning that Mississippi Circuit Court Judge David Strong cited errors by Brookhaven Police Department Detective Vincent Fernando as he declared the mistrial this morning. Those errors included failing to give prosecutors and defense attorneys a videotaped statement the police had taken from Gibson and improperly testifying about finding guns in the home of one of the defendants and shell casings outside.
The defense requested the mistrial and Strong said he “had no other choice,” The Daily Leader reported this morning. The trial began on Aug. 15, almost a year and eight months after the incident occurred.
Gibson’s attorney, Carlos Moore, has repeatedly accused the Brookhaven Police Department of delaying investigating the shooting and of “shoddy” work. He is now asking the U.S. Department of Justice to step in.
“As the attorney representing D’Monterrio Gibson, I share the deep disappointment and frustration expressed by Circuit Judge David Strong over this development,” the attorney said in a statement to the Mississippi Free Press this morning. “A mistrial represents not just an administrative setback but also a delay in justice for Mr. Gibson and his family. It is concerning that BPD withheld a potentially crucial piece of evidence, and I concur with District Attorney Dee Bates, the withheld evidence necessitated a mistrial. We believe that this is not an isolated incident but a part of a larger pattern of obstruction by the BPD.”
Moore said he has “recently communicated with one of the leaders of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division” and that the Justice Department is “actively monitoring the developments in this state prosecution as it deliberates on whether there will be a federal hate crime prosecution against the Cases.”
“I have also requested the DOJ to investigate the Brookhaven Police Department’s conduct in this matter for potential obstruction of justice. It is paramount that every law enforcement agency upholds the highest standards of integrity and transparency, especially when the pursuit of justice for a victim is at stake,” Moore continued. “We remain committed to seeking justice for D’Monterrio Gibson and ensuring that the legal process is fair, transparent, and accountable. We are hopeful that the Department of Justice’s involvement will help shed light on this serious matter and ensure that justice is served.”