Trial date set for murder suspect

Published 12:59 am Saturday, December 8, 2012

After nearly two years behind bars, a trial postponement, one escape from jail and an investigation that nearly saw the entire case dismissed, murder suspect Cedric Jerome Floyd is now scheduled for a court date in January after his date in court this Wednesday was postponed.


Escambia County Circuit Clerk Ken Taylor said the plan was for the jury to be struck Monday, with the trial concerning Floyd’s charge of promoting prison contraband expected to begin Wednesday in Brewton, although, Taylor added, the date was not set in stone. Friday afternoon Taylor’s sentiment was confirmed as Floyd’s lawyers were granted a continuance that pushes his trial back one month.

Floyd is also facing capital murder charges after he allegedly broke into the home of 43-year-old Tina Roshell Jones’ home on 5th Avenue in Atmore and shot her several times in January of 2011, but a trial date for charges related to that crime has yet to be set.

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In January, Floyd will face charges alleging he possessed a cellular phone while incarcerated at the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton.

Floyd was initially scheduled to face the capital murder charges during the summer of this year, but that trial was also continued by attorneys in the case. In October, Floyd managed to escape from the detention center and led authorities on a two-day manhunt that ended when he was captured by Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s deputies in Pensacola. But the drama did not end there.

Nearly two weeks after Floyd’s capture, lawyers representing him were back in court seeking the dismissal of all charges. Floyd’s attorneys, Charles Johns and Kevin McKinley, claimed communication between their office and the client had been in the possession of the district attorney’s office, marking a violation of the attorney/client privilege.

“After Floyd escaped, he left behind several legal documents,” Johns told Circuit Judge Burt Rice. “It was gathered and delivered to the district attorney’s office and it is no longer in their possession. It is highly inappropriate. At the very least the DA should be excluded from prosecution in the case and at best there should be a dismissal of the cases.”

Although Rice dismissed the motion to drop the capital murder charges, he also dismissed the District Attorney’s office from prosecuting the case.

“I see no violation or prejudice at this point to the defendant,” Rice said. “However, if (the case against Floyd) gets as far as sentencing, these prior cases could be raised. With these assistant district attorneys involved, there could be a prejudice for the client. Therefore this court makes the ruling that the district attorney’s office no longer be the prosecutional attorneys in these cases.”

After the twists and turns of Floyd’s arrests and incarceration, the next chapter in his multiple criminal cases is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 14 at 8:30 a.m. with Covington County District Attorney Walter Marvin Merrell, II as the prosecution.