WJTV News Channel 12 - Investigation Finds No Evidence Of Crime In Hinds County Courtho

Investigation Finds No Evidence Of Crime In Hinds County Courthouse Incident

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An investigation by the sheriff's department concludes there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by supporters or state senator Chris McDaniel, after they got locked inside the Hinds county courthouse this week.

The results come one day after the incident involving three tea party members who managed to get into the building after hours overnight Wednesday through an unsecured door.   

After questioning them, officials say there was no reason to believe they engaged in criminal activity or broke any laws.

Authorities say the group managed to get into the courthouse because a side door for "employees only" was propped open or was malfunctioning at the time.

Investigators tell us voters can rest assured the integrity of the vote wasn't compromised. They say ballots were placed in a secured vault inside the circuit clerk's office, which was also locked.

Here’s a look at the trio that found themselves locked in the courthouse, Scott Brewster, a top paid staffer with McDaniel’s senate campaign.  The others are Janis Lane, who heads the central Mississippi tea party, which is strongly backing McDaniel’s senate bid, and Rob Chambers, who’s with the Mississippi Baptist convention's Christian action league. McDaniel’s campaign says it sent them to the courthouse to observe the ballot count after the votes came in on election night.

 McDaniel is locked in a bitter primary runoff race with veteran US Senator Thad Cochran, who’s seeking a seventh term.

McDaniel’s camp said in a statement, Cochran’s campaign focus on the courthouse case was “distraction politics,” and that his opponent “wants make this election about anything but issues.”

 A Cochran spokesman says this incident is part of a pattern.

Last month, four McDaniel supporters were charged with felonies, in what police say was a conspiracy to slip into the nursing home room of Cochran’s bedridden wife Rose, to shot video of her as part of an online attack on Cochran’s faithfulness to his wife of 50 years.   

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