John Colette is by far one of the top, high profile criminal defense attorneys in the state, He has represented former Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps. He was also in attendance at Charles “Plukey” Bolton’s trial for almost the entire duration on behalf of local Attorney John Lee. Lee and his law firm’s finances are under criminal investigation by the IRS. Colette also represented former District Attorney Bud Holmes decades ago when Holmes was under investigation. So, why is he representing Hammond?
Mr. Colette isn’t in the habit of making brief entries for a defendant who isn’t paying him tens of thousands of dollars. So, who paid Colette to make an entry of appearance for Martaze Hammond, and why is Hammond so important? Colette’s brief, but significant appearance raises some interesting questions about just who is behind the curtain.
Hammond worked very closely with Kenneth Fairley Sr.in Dupree’s 2013 reelection campaign. He knows intimate details involving the tactics the campaign employed and the people who employed those tactics.
Dupree’s right hand at the time of the 2013 campaign was John Brown. Brown published a series of videos self coined “JBTV,” an acronym for “John Brown Television.” Brown could be seen touting the “Vote Early, Vote Often slogan, in one of the videos (see HP Facebook under Videos back in 2013 for all JBTV videos) Hammond was captured in the “War Room” as Brown panned the camera. Hammond was primarily in charge of transporting voters to the polls, but was there something special about his job that could cause waves for the Dupree administration?
Colette was successful in having Hammond’s federal revocation of probation case continued, pending the outcome of the state charges. Hammond was remanded to the custody of the State, but he didn’t stay there for long. Hammond soon returned to work at the City of Hattiesburg, until the summer of 2016, when he was arrested once again for charges related to his registered residence as a sex offender. Hammond remained in the custody of the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office until October 2016 when the Federal Government filed an rather unusual petition to take possession of the body of Martaze Hammond, and the petition reveals something very interesting.