From Staff and Wire Reports
OXFORD — A federal judge in Oxford has dismissed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit filed by Tyler Edmonds.
U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. on Tuesday ruled that law enforcement officers did nothing unconstitutional in the handling of Edmonds’ confession in 2003.
Edmonds and his mother, Sharon Clay, sued Oktibbeha County in 2009, saying Edmonds was wrongfully convicted of murder “based on an alleged coerced confession taken by law enforcement officers.”
Edmonds, who was 14 at the time, was arrested May 12, 2003, and accused in the shooting death of Joey Fulgham, who was married to Edmonds’ half-sister, Kristi Fulgham. The slaying occurred at the home Joey and Kristi Fulgham shared on Buckner Street in the Longview community west of Starkville.
His confession reportedly came after Edmonds and his mother were separated, and then Kristi Fulgham told him to “tell them” what he had done.
Edmonds was convicted in July 2004 and sentenced to life in prison, but was acquitted in a second jury trial in November 2008 after the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned his initial conviction for his reported role in Joey Fulgham’s death.
Edmonds had been imprisoned for more than three and a half years when the Supreme Court ordered a new trial in his case.
Kristi Fulgham is serving a life sentence for her role in the killing.
During the second criminal trial, Edmonds’ defense attorneys, Jim Waide and Victor Fleitas, argued was unduly influenced by his half-sister to be involved in the crime and that he did not pull the trigger on the gun that killed Joey Fulgham.
Biggers said Edmonds’ rights were not violated by law enforcement officers.
Biggers also rejected Clay’s claim that she had the right to be present during Edmonds’ interrogation.