TUPELO • Tupelo city attorney Ben Logan will have his day in court later this month.
According to court documents obtained by the Daily Journal, Logan’s trial for a December 2018 driving under the influence charge will be held June 27. The misdemeanor criminal case will be heard in Lee County Justice Court, with Judge Sadie Holland presiding.
While most people charged with DUI-refusal have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days, Logan has continued to drive through a quirk in the system.
Logan, 55, of County Road 194, Blue Springs, was stopped by a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper at 11 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2018, at a safety checkpoint on Hilda Avenue at Highway 45 inside the Tupelo city limits. He was taken to the Lee County Jail but never entered the building. Instead, MHP gave him a citation for DUI-refusal and he was turned over to a Tupelo Police Department shift supervisor.
Logan never entered the jail and was never formally offered the chance to blow into the Intoxilyzer 8000 to determine if his blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. Since he never officially refused the test, he avoided the triggering mechanism to kick in the three-month suspension of his license.
Logan’s license will only be suspended if he goes to court and is convicted of the crime. If the case is dismissed or he is found not guilty, there will be no suspension.
The original MHP citation of Dec. 7, 2018, listed an arraignment date of Dec. 26, 2018, in Lee County Justice Court, but justice court was not in session the day after Christmas.
On Dec. 11, 2018, the court set a trial date of Feb. 5 at 1:30 p.m. before Justice Court Judge John Sheffield. In a handwritten note on the outside of the file dated 12/10/18, Sheffield recused himself from the case.
On Dec. 21, 2018, attorney Harry Sumner appeared before the court on behalf of Logan and pleaded not guilty. The same day, the court accepted the plea and set a new court date of May 2 before Judge Holland.
On Dec. 26, 2018, attorney Lee Dulaney, Sumner’s partner, filed paperwork asking that Logan’s driving privileges be extended,
On April 9, the court issued a summons to the arresting officer, ordering the trooper to show up in court at 1:30 p.m. May 2 for the trial.
On April 24, Holland signed an order extending the case indefinitely. The order was agreed to by Sumner and interim Lee County Prosecutor Jonathan Martin.
In May, Justice Court set a new trial date for June 27.