Former Jones Co. DA speaks out on reversed capital murder convic - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Former Jones Co. DA speaks out on Blakeney case

Former Jones Co. DA speaks out on reversed capital murder conviction

Justin Blakeney Justin Blakeney
Victoria Viner Victoria Viner
LAUREL, MS (WDAM) -

A Laurel man is being given a new murder trial for the 2010 death of his then girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter, Victoria Viner.

Current Jones County District Attorney Anthony Buckley said his team is hard at work preparing for this new trial.

During 2014 testimony, one person testified, "He had taken the phone book and placed it on top of Victoria Viner's head and hit her with it."

Disturbing descriptions of how Justin Blakeney is said to have killed innocent little 2-year-old  Viner. 

Jurors will once again have to re-live this horrible crime. That's because the Mississippi Supreme Court has overturned Blakeney's 2014 death penalty conviction, saying the defendant was improperly disadvantaged by last-minute evidence.

"My initial reaction when this capital murder death penalty case was reversed, I was not surprised because most, if not all death penalty cases, are reversed one time at least," Buckley said.

Medical evidence showed Victoria died from blunt force trauma to the head. Justices said the state was wrong to use the jailhouse informants because Blakeney had already been indicted and should have been assisted by an attorney. And, the information was given to the defense at the last minute.

Former Jones County Assistant District Attorney J. Ronald Parrish, who tried the case three years ago, weighed in on the decision.

"Well, if you were involved in it that's sort of ridiculous if you know the facts," Parrish said. "Because you can't give people things you don't have. When evidence comes from the defendant at the last minute, well then you have to give it to the other side at the last minute. That's basically what happened with some of the evidence."

Buckley said his team has a lot of work to do, but he wants to assure the public Blakeney will not be released on bail when he's brought back because it is a capital murder charge.

"Losing the appeal at the state supreme court level in the death penalty is just losing a battle," Buckley said. "The war is still to come. We feel confident we will win the war."

Buckley said you can expect an August 2018 trial date.

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 
 

  • WDAM.com FeaturesMore>>

  • MS Supreme Court reverses Jones County man's murder conviction

    MS Supreme Court reverses Jones County man's murder conviction

    Friday, November 10 2017 4:09 PM EST2017-11-10 21:09:05 GMT
    Justin Blakeney. SOURCE: MDOCJustin Blakeney. SOURCE: MDOC

    The Supreme Court of Mississippi reversed the capital murder conviction of a Jones County man accused of killing a toddler.  Justin Barrett Blakeney received a death penalty sentence in 2014 after being found guilty of capital murder in the death of 2-year-old Victoria Viner.  On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Blakeney was denied the opportunity to present a complete defense and remanded his case for a new trial.  Viner, the daughter of Blakeney's girlfr...

    More >>

    The Supreme Court of Mississippi reversed the capital murder conviction of a Jones County man accused of killing a toddler.  Justin Barrett Blakeney received a death penalty sentence in 2014 after being found guilty of capital murder in the death of 2-year-old Victoria Viner.  On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Blakeney was denied the opportunity to present a complete defense and remanded his case for a new trial.  Viner, the daughter of Blakeney's girlfr...

    More >>
  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Suspect bites man helping a Lumberton officer during chase

    Suspect bites man helping a Lumberton officer during chase

    Monday, April 23 2018 7:14 PM EDT2018-04-23 23:14:33 GMT
    Jeameal Taylor. Source:  Lamar County Jail.Jeameal Taylor. Source: Lamar County Jail.

    A man jumping in to help a Lumberton Police Officer ended up with an injury of his own Monday. Lumberton Police Chief Carlus Page said an officer was dispatched in reference to a domestic incident just before 10 a.m. on Southern Street when the suspect, identified as Jeameal Taylor, starting running. Page said Taylor had knowledge he was wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections and "immediately took off running." A civilian, Joshua Root, saw the chase and assis...

    More >>

    A man jumping in to help a Lumberton Police Officer ended up with an injury of his own Monday. Lumberton Police Chief Carlus Page said an officer was dispatched in reference to a domestic incident just before 10 a.m. on Southern Street when the suspect, identified as Jeameal Taylor, starting running. Page said Taylor had knowledge he was wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections and "immediately took off running." A civilian, Joshua Root, saw the chase and assis...

    More >>
  • HPD searching for man who broke into church with a hatchet

    HPD searching for man who broke into church with a hatchet

    Monday, April 23 2018 6:44 PM EDT2018-04-23 22:44:58 GMT
    The man broke into the church on April 7, around 3:30 a.m. (Photo source: HPD)The man broke into the church on April 7, around 3:30 a.m. (Photo source: HPD)

    Hattiesburg police are searching for a man who broke into Hardy Street Baptist Church with a hatchet in early April. 

    More >>

    Hattiesburg police are searching for a man who broke into Hardy Street Baptist Church with a hatchet in early April. 

    More >>
  • Laurel man charged with molestation of relative

    Laurel man charged with molestation of relative

    Monday, April 23 2018 6:43 PM EDT2018-04-23 22:43:27 GMT
    Jonathan Smith, 35, of Laurel, was arrested on Saturday and charged with molesting-touching a child for a lustful purpose. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)Jonathan Smith, 35, of Laurel, was arrested on Saturday and charged with molesting-touching a child for a lustful purpose. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)

    A Laurel man was charged with molestation after he was accused of inappropriate behavior with a close relative. 

    More >>

    A Laurel man was charged with molestation after he was accused of inappropriate behavior with a close relative. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly