I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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“I am Lacy, I am Byrd,” chanted Duchess Dallas at protest over Greenwood hit man case

The Greenwood Commonwealth is continuing its fascinating coverage of the incident in Lee Abraham’s law office with two stories about the fold.  First, Paul Muller has been released on bond.  There’s a possibility he should have been released, period:  law enforcement can’t seem to come up with the arrest warrant and supporting affidavit charging Muller.  John Collette, as an uninvolved observer, noted that, lacking a warrant, a lawyer would have made a motion to release Muller.  “That’s kind of basic.  You’ve got to have a charging document,” Collette told the paper.  No one could confirm to the paper which agency charged him, or what he exactly was supposed to have done.  The Greenwood police chief said “We’re going to go ahead and try and finish working it without putting any additional information out.”

If he needs to “work it” before saying what and how they have charged Muller, they’ve pretty well got the cart before the horse down there.

Meanwhile, protesters chanting “I am Lacy, I am Byrd,” lead by a Valley State student named Duchess Dallas, showed up with similar signs at the Leflore County Courthouse.

This story is a gift that keeps on giving.

Duchess Dallas explained that they weren’t saying whether Byrd (the alleged hit man) or Lacy (his alleged accomplice) were guilty, but that they were demanding equal treatment for them.  She has contacted the NACCP about a larger rally.  The Commonwealth article states “Many in Greenwood’s black community have questioned the version of events laid out by law enforcement officials.”

I would presume that all others allegedly involved would ask that they not get equal treatment with Lacy or Byrd (and particularly Byrd).

The story also notes that a contractors dumster full of debris was outside Abraham’s law office, where workers were patching bullet riddled holes.

20 comments to “I am Lacy, I am Byrd,” chanted Duchess Dallas at protest over Greenwood hit man case

  • She should go ahead and make it a rhyme with a second line: “Biggest fool you’ve ever heard.”

    … Really though, I suspect that if I wrote a story set in the South and named a character Duchess Dallas, my editor would red-pencil that as too over-the-top.

  • There seem to be two, contradictory stories going around in the African American community here:

    1. that the AG agents ought to be charged with murder for shooting Byrd and Lacey, and

    2. that there was a third assailant traveling with Byrd and Lacey, a white man, who ran away when the gunfire erupted.

    So some of them think Byrd and Lacey are the victims, while others are concerned that a white accomplice is getting away scot-free.

    Nobody seems to think that Muller was present, particularly since the charging affidavit/warrant released against Smith never mentions Muller as an accomplice, but does mention Lacey.

    So if, as one rumor has it, there was as third assailant who was white, and it wasn’t Muller, who was it?

    John Pittman Hey

  • NMC, I loved the Duchess Dallas character most too!

    John Pittman Hey

  • Ignatius

    I think you need to come for a weekend to the Alluvian, NMC. Arts festival, barbecue contest this weekend. Blue Mountain is playing Friday night.

    JPH, the first text I received about the shooting Saturday night said one man dead, one injured, one got away. So the story of a third man has been there from the beginning.

    If you watch the Commonwealth’s Facebook page, you will find libelous and crazy posts that are soon scrubbed away. The anonymous letter has made the rounds and has been accepted as the truth. The conspiracy theories all start there.

  • Did Lacey and Byrd by chance have packages of Skittles on them? Is the press using their kindergarten graduation photos to identify them?

  • Jane

    Keaira was probably doomed. Maybe it’s all the years of Latin I had in high school, but, in my opinion, no man should have a name ending in an “a”.

  • AP is reporting today that Keaira Byrd had a criminal past as well.

    Byrd has criminal convictions for burglary and armed robbery and was released from prison last September, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Lacy had completed a burglary sentence in October 2010.

    Here’s the link:

    But in the April 30th article in the Commonwealth, the Greenwood Police Chief Henry Purnell stated that Byrd did not have a state criminal record.


    John Pittman Hey

  • Ignatius

    Thanks for the link, JPH. I stand corrected on the timing of the divorce. With the arrest for alleged molestation coming in 2004 or thereabouts, I had no idea that the divorce and its aftershocks had been going on so long.

  • With Dr. Smith, the aftershocks never seem to damp out. Instead, they grow in intensity and magnitude!

    John Pittman Hey

  • Unbelievable. yes, I have a copy of the flyers that were circulated. Pure trash. The flyers and these protestors, trash.

    These black protestors remind me of the Palestinians who protest all things Jewish and think the Jews, drink Palestinian blood for breakfast or think the Protocols are real.

  • NMC

    I’m not sure how to say this nicely, Kingfish, and I’m certainly not going to call folks trash, but it seems that the Palestinians have a consistent view of the world they are espousing. I’m not sure that could be said for the folks in this group of protestors.

  • Ben

    a contractors dumpster full of debris was outside Abraham’s law office, where workers were patching bullet riddled holes.

    So … Greenwood law enforcement doesn’t waste a lotta time preserving and processing crime scenes.

    Whatta screwball case.

  • You’re starting to see why Abraham contacted the AG. Everyone I know up there is saying the law enforcement is very corrupt and is why he didn’t go to the local praetor urbanus.

  • Ben,

    It concerned me too that they were repairing the scene of the shooting so soon. I can understand Abraham’s interest in getting his office useable again, but I wonder whether all the evidence was properly preserved.

    John Pittman Hey

  • NMC

    I would assume there may be defense lawyers asserting it was being altered too soon.

  • Kingfish, it seems like we should get some Roman history blogging from you now and then.

  • I see some praetors and aediles making a return at some point in the near future.

  • williemcgee

    From the story: “What we’re trying to do is make sure they receive equal treatment,” Dallas said, referring to Derrick Lacy and Keaira Byrd.

    Is the Duchess asking the AG’s office to go ahead and kill Lacy too?

  • The Greenwood Commonwealth is reporting there will be another march on Sunday at 5:00. The Duchess of Dallas says that this one will be bigger, and, although she’s contacted the state NAACP, this one will be “for the community.”

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