Lamar County Constable and Deputy Mike Byrd will have a show cause hearing on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. after a female filed an affidavit which alleged criminal conduct against Byrd. According to an HPNM source, the allegations reportedly involved unwanted “text messages” and “inappropriate pictures,” which were allegedly, on multiple occasions, sent to the female by Byrd. Byrd is married and recently won the election for Lamar County District 3 Constable. Byrd is also employed by the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, however he is reportedly on leave pending the outcome of the hearing and possible criminal charges.
Normally, when an average citizen faces these types of charges, they are arrested and will either go before a justice court judge (county) or a municipal court judge (city) for bond, depending on what jurisdiction the alleged crime occurred. Unless indicted by a grand jury, under Mississippi Statute 99-3-28, certain professions are afforded a probable cause hearing to determine if formal charges are justified by a preponderance of the evidence.
Statute 99-3-28 reads in part,
“(1) (a) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, before an arrest warrant shall be issued against any teacher who is a licensed public school employee as defined in Section 37-9-1, a certified jail officer as defined in Section 45-4-9, a counselor at an adolescent offender program created under Section 43-27-201 et seq., or a sworn law enforcement officer (emphasis added) within this state as defined in Section 45-6-3 for a criminal act, whether misdemeanor or felony, which is alleged to have occurred while the teacher, jail officer, counselor at an adolescent offender program or law enforcement officer was in the performance of official duties (emphasis added) a probable cause hearing shall be held before a circuit court judge. The purpose of the hearing shall be to determine if adequate probable cause exists for the issuance of a warrant.”
It is unclear how these allegations would fall under the performance of Byrd’s official duties of the Lamar County Sheriffs Office or involve his elected position as District Three Constable.
The hearing was originally set for tomorrow, but was pushed back until next Wednesday after Lamar County Prosecutor Scotty Chaubert recused himself from the case. Marion County Prosecutor Lawrence Hahn was appointed special prosecutor. Hattiesburg Attorney T. Michael Reed is defending Byrd. Byrd is the brother of Lamar County District Two Supervisor Warren Byrd.