Judge considers pulling 50 jurors from Lamar County for trial - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Judge considers pulling 50 jurors from Lamar County for Hattiesburg's mayoral challenge

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A specially appointed judge says he is considering pulling 50 prospective jurors from Lamar County, in addition to 350 potential jurors from Forrest County, to hear Hattiesburg's mayoral election challenge.

Dave Ware lost the election to Johnny DuPree by 37 votes, but is asking the courts in a trial by jury to throw out more than 50 percent of the absentee ballots, due to alleged voter irregularities.

Ware filed his challenge in both Forrest and Lamar counties, since a portion of Hattiesburg lies in the neighboring county. Judge William Coleman's comments came today during a pre trial motion hearing between the winner and challenger.

Judge Coleman ruled the Ware attorneys must be more specific when outlining allegations surrounding the June 4 election, regarding alleged voter irregularities.

One motion included a request filed by Ware to make copies of absentee and affidavit ballots for the purposes of expediting the trial. The judge approved this, as long as City Clerk Eddie Myers is present at the time of the copying process.

Ware representatives will be using their own copy machine for this process. Dave Ware says this will help the jury tremendously.

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think this will help us a lot as we move forward," Ware said.

Neither Mayor DuPree, nor his representatives had any comment on the proceedings.

Another motion filed by the Ware campaign is to obtain cell phone records from city funded cell phones of city hall employees who the Ware attorneys claim were working for DuPree's re-election efforts on city time.

The judge approved the motion that the city should produce those records. He gave the Ware attorneys until next week to obtain information. The judge will release those cell phone records to the public as he sees fit.

The motions must be turned in by next week. Another pre trial of motions is set for July 22, the day before the July 23 trial.

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