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Mississippi murder trial delayed after DA’s office recused

May 26, 2021 GMT

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — The trial of a Mississippi woman charged with the 2019 murder of her boyfriend has been postponed indefinitely while the court finds a new prosecutor.

Jessica Aldridge was scheduled to go to trial on May 17, but the Natchez Democrat reports that Sixth Judicial District Judge Lillie Sanders recused the office of District Attorney Shameca Collins.

Sanders approved the motion for a new prosecutor from Aldridge’s lawyer Cynthia Stewart, who said her client spoke about the case with Paul Sullivan before he became Collins’ assistant district attorney.

Collins said Sullivan denied the exchange, according to the newspaper.

Aldridge, 33, was arrested in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend Joseph Cupit in March 2019. She told investigators the couple got into an argument and Cupit had choked her.

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She was released on a $100,000 bond in April 2020 after becoming pregnant with the child of another inmate at the Adams County Jail.

According to a court order, Aldridge has to stay at home, wear an electronic monitoring device and pay the device’s monthly service fee. No one can visit her and she can’t use social media, the internet or phone, the order said.

Her attorney also filed a motion to change the venue of the trial due to the amount of news media attention the case has gotten. Sanders told the Natchez Democrat that she hadn’t heard the motion as of Monday because a new prosecutor was not yet assigned.

“The court’s intention is to try this case by the end of the year,” the judge said.