A formal trial will soon be set for a Shelby County prosecutor who allegedly hid evidence during the murder trial of Noura Jackson.
In January, Stephen Jones, a prosecutor in the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office, was targeted for discipline by a state board for not giving a witness statement to Jackson’s attorneys. That statement could have helped Jackson's case in court.
Last week, Jones asked a hearing panel for his case to dropped. That hearing panel, comprised of three attorneys, denied Jones’ request in a written order Tuesday and will soon schedule a trial for Jones in the matter.
Jones told panel members last week that he did not give the statement over to Jackson's attorneys but that it was an "inadvertent mistake." He said he looked at the statement, stuffed it away in a trial notebook, and didn't think of it again until the trial was over, he said. There was no intent to hide the statement, Jones argued.
An attorney for the Tennessee Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility, the board that oversees attorneys in the state, disputed that argument, noting that his conduct could be seen as intentional.
The hearing panel saw it both ways. They said his story about his actions could have been seen as inadvertent but it could "also be consistent with a knowing, or even intentional, course of conduct."