OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- For 5 years, a man charged with murder has been sitting inside the Oktibbeha County jail awaiting his day in court. Archie Quinn was arrested and charged in 2008 with the shooting and death of his girlfriend Stacy Gray and wounding Terry Johnson at a home in Oktibbeha County. Quinn then shot himself in the head, but recovered from his wounds.
“He was incarcerated. He was never released. Sat in jail for about a year before he went to the state hospital at Whitfield to get a mental examination done by the doctors,” said Mark Jackson, Assistance District Attorney for Oktibbeha County.
Since then, Quinn’s trial has been postponed several times. Jackson says the set backs come from the defense.
“His attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, filed 20 some motions in this case to be heard. The latest from this past week, Mr. Lumumba filed a motion of continuance and a motion to withdraw. Mr. Lumumba was recently elected Mayor in Jackson. And according to the motion he filed, suspended his practice and is no longer practicing law in Jackson or anywhere else,” said Jackson.
If the judge accepts the motion, Quinn will have to find another attorney, which can push the trial back for months, if not years. According to Jackson, Capital murders generally take longer to get to trial than a theft or felony, but he admits this case is longer than typical. Oktibbeha County Sheriff Steve Gladney says a delayed case can end up costing county taxpayers.
“It’s anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 a year. And that includes detention officers, the whole gamut of things. Over a course of time, it can certainly add up to be a lot of money. We certainly live within our budget but budgets are tight and depends on when you get a lot of people locked up in one facility and the medical costs can really skyrocket and tear your budget up,” said Sheriff Gladney.
A hearing is set for Friday to determine whether to grant or deny Quinn’s attorney’s request. Jackson says it’s hard, not only for his counsel, but for the families involved who’ve waited patiently for a speedy justice.
“It’s very frustrating when you have continuances in the cases. Whether they’re small cases or the most serious and grave ones like this one a capital murder. Having to deal with the victims family in this case. This has been a long drawn out deal for them and they’re frustrated. They’re ready for this case to be complete and to try to move on and put this behind them,” said Jackson.
WCBI reached out to Lumumba’s office in Jackson, but he never returned our phone calls. Quinn’s trial is set to begin next Monday. The outcome of the hearing will determine whether the trial date will remain the same.