Meth mistrial

Talib Mujahid glances at the jury as he sits with public defender Michael Mitchell in Jones County Circuit Court in Ellisville during a previous trial. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

 

A career criminal who has been known for his theatrics in court was up to his old tricks, but the judge got the last word.

Talib Mujahid, 63, was ordered to serve eight years in prison — the maximum — after a Jones County jury found him guilty of selling methamphetamine. 

“I’m always glad to get another drug dealer off the streets,” said Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin, who prosecuted the case in Jones County Circuit Court in Laurel on Monday.

But doing that proved to be difficult. In a separate case, Mujahid was found not guilty by an Ellisville jury in May because video of the transaction with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department’s confidential informant was not clear. That same case ended in a mistrial two months earlier when jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

“The video was much better in this one,” Martin said after the third trial on a separate charge.

Video showed Mujahid selling .379 grams of meth to Clifton Stokes, and this time JCSD Sgts. James Stiglet and Jared Lindsey helped get a conviction. 

Public defender Michael Mitchell represented Mujahid.

Jurors deliberated for about 20 minutes before returning the guilty verdict after a half-day or so of testimony.

Mujahid called Judge Dal Williamson a “grand wizard” and made a reference to “white robes” and “black robes” — references to the KKK and the judge.

He has had similar outbursts and acts of defiance in past trials and hearings, battling with his own attorney and turning his back on the judge during proceedings.

Mujahid was sentenced as a habitual offender, meaning he was ordered to serve all eight years in the full-time custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with no chance for early release. Eight years was the maximum sentence for selling that amount of meth. To be a habitual offender, a defendant must have at least three felony convictions for offenses that carry a punishment of at least five years.

In 1982, Lynwood McGhee — which was Mujahid’s name before he converted to Islam in prison and changed his name in 2000 — was convicted of armed robbery in Lincoln County. 

He was ordered to serve seven years. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of receiving stolen property in Pike County and ordered to serve 10 years. He was also ordered to undergo psychiatric counseling as part of that sentence order.

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