WJTV News Channel 12 - Seven Years Behind Bars and No Trial Date

Seven Years Behind Bars and No Trial Date

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Lee Varnell Knight has been in jail since 2007, still awaiting a trial date. Lee Varnell Knight has been in jail since 2007, still awaiting a trial date.
JACKSON, Miss. - He's spent seven years behind bars and authorities say he's still awaiting a trial date. Lee Vernel Knight is at the Hinds County Detention Center charged with the murder of his brother. Knight's family says the 48-year-old is accused of stabbing Michael Palmer in 2007.  For seven years Knight has sat in prison waiting for his day in court. 

"He didn't know when there he was in the world or not. He'd been dealing with schizophrenia half his life, it was something we already knew about, we just didn't ever know when that time was going to come," says Daryl Knight, nephew to Lee.

Lee Knight's nephew Daryl Knight says the time did come where his uncle snapped. It was Christmas day. "My uncle stabbed by other uncle in the chest, by the time we got here, there was nothing the paramedics could do," says Daryl. The next day Knight was arrested and booked in to the hinds county jail. This all happened 7 years ago.

"There's never been a trial."

Daryl says Knight has been in Whitfield before for psychiatric help. That's where they'd like to see him again rather than behind bars.

"One of the lawyers also said he should've been had his trial because he's sick. Everybody knows he has a mental issue. Even though he committed a crime and in his mind he didn't know that he committed that crime."

The average cost to have one inmate in the Hinds County Jail costs is 45 dollars- per day. Because he still awaiting trial, Knight's cost of care for his seven-year stay adds up to roughly more than 100 thousand dollars. That's not including medical costs. All of those expenses fall on the taxpayers of Hinds County.

So where is his trial date? News Channel 12 tried reaching out to Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith multiple times Friday, our calls were not returned.

"Yea it's broken, it's been broken. The justice system, they sit back and don't do nothing. They should've been took care of that matter," says Daryl.

Knight is not the only inmate who's been in Raymond for nearly a decade. Officials with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department tell us the jail is supposed to be for temporary housing, it's not equipped for longtime stay.

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