Judge denies motions of MSU's Jones, Lewis

Leo Lewis
Kobe Jones
Staff Writer

A Lafayette County judge has denied Mississippi State football players Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones’ motions to sever and transfer venue in relation to the ongoing lawsuit against the two MSU players filed by Oxford-based clothing store Rebel Rags.

Judge John Kelly Luther ruled Thursday that Lewis and Jones “have been properly joined under Rule 20(a) as the relief asserted against these defendants arises from the same transaction, occurrence, or same series of transactions or occurrences, and common questions or law or fact to all parties will arise in action.”

Luther also denied the transfer of venue from Lafayette County to Oktibbeha County. Both Jones’ lawyer, Chris Shapley, and Lewis’ lawyer, John Wheeler, have argued the proper venue should be Oktibbeha County since the statements that brought on the lawsuit were made in Starkville.

Rebel Rags filed its lawsuit in June and accused Lewis, Jones and former Ole Miss offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil’s estranged stepfather Lindsey Miller of defamation, commercial disparagement and civil conspiracy. Rebel Rags believes Lewis, Jones and Miller knowingly gave false statements with intentions to harm Rebel Rags to the NCAA enforcement staff when the NCAA was investigating Ole Miss.

Lewis and Jones have denied those allegations in court filings.

Both Shapley and Wheeler told the Starkville Daily News on Friday they will appeal Luther’s Thursday ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and believe it is inconsistent with well-established Mississippi law,” Shapley said. “We will appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court as soon as possible.”