Davis Case Stalled Over Recusals

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(DeSoto County, MS)  Questions to Mayor Greg Davis about his Misdemeanor traffic arrest remained unanswered as he left DeSoto Justice Court Wednesday afternoon.

It was the Mayor’s first appearance in the case of the warrant a DeSoto School Bus driver swore out against him for allegedly passing the bus when it was stopped.

Justice Court Judge Billy Lantrip might have wrapped up the misdemeanor traffic case, but asked if either Davis or bus driver Tracey Woodruff Riva had a problem with him hearing the matter.

Lantrip has known Mayor Davis all his life and worked for him at the Southaven Police Department.

In the end, Riva and Davis asked for a new judge in light of the massive publicity surrounding the case.

”The judge asked me to file a motion with the other judges asking for an out of County judge to hear the case just a misdemeanor and I’ll do so.  Also, you heard the judge and the prosecutor state that the prosecutor would be recusing himself also,” said Davis’ attorney Steve Farese.

Davis said he had every right to do what he did, based on his role as mayor and chief law officer in Southaven.

eighbors interviewed by NewsChannel 3, back up the Mayor’s account.

But a friend of the bus driver said the County has a problem with people passing school buses, and this case was like no other.

Farese said the misdemeanor charge may be run-of-the mill, but this case certainly wasn’t, which is why he wanted a new judge and prosecutor, ”If the Mayor’s found not guilty there will be some out there saying ‘oh it was a fix’ ‘he was friends with the judge, friends with the prosecutor, there are always naysayers out there and this is to prevent an appearance of impropriety”.

Where was Ms. Riva in all this?

Deputies escorted her out a back door to the courtroom to avoid our questions.

Knowledgeable sources say it could take a month or more to find another judge and prosecutor from elsewhere in the state to take this case.