Crime

Domestic violence charges dropped after Moss Point mayor, wife refuse to testify

Moss Point Mayor Mario King and his wife, Natasha, on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 after a press conference at City Hall to address the city's growing violent crime problem.
Moss Point Mayor Mario King and his wife, Natasha, on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 after a press conference at City Hall to address the city's growing violent crime problem. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

A judge Thursday dismissed domestic violence charges against Moss Point Mayor Mario King and his wife, Natasha King, after their attorneys said both refused to testify against one another.

In addition, attorneys Keith Miller, representing the mayor, and Dustin Thomas, serving as Natasha King’s attorney, said the pair planned to plead the “fifth” — their 5th Amendment right — if called to testify because neither wished to pursue charges against one another.

However, sheriff’s deputies began an investigation only after Natasha King reported the Oct. 20 “altercation” with her husband to sheriff’s investigators.

In court Thursday, the defense attorneys repeatedly objected when Special Prosecutor Natalia Porsche questioned sheriff’s investigator Tracey Wilson about what the couple reported to them.

When Miller objected to the testimony, he said Wilson could not testify about what went on with the mayor and his wife because it was hearsay based on information the couple provided that they will no longer address.

Miller also pointed the deputy testifying did not witness any crime.

“These are police officers who make arrests without seeing what happened,” Attorney Thomas added.

When Natasha King went to the sheriff’s office, she told investigators her husband assaulted her after she asked him why he was home so late. He had gotten home after 1 a.m. Oct. 20.

She said the two argued before he “punched her” and told her, “’I can’t (expletive) stand you.’”

She said she managed to scratch her husband during the fight, the report says, resulting in some scratch marks on his body, the report said.

Whether someone has asked you for help or you sense someone is in distress, here are some general guidelines to help support possible victims of abuse, be it physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial.

Investigator Wilson said the pictures illustrated the injuries, but against defense attorneys said her testimony about what caused any injuries are based on the couple’s statements.

The special prosecutor continued to try to prosecute the case, pointing out to the judge that the domestic violence report in October wasn’t a first filed in relation to Mario King. However, the judge did not allow any of that information to be explored at Thursday’s trial as well.

After court adjourned, the mayor and his wife gathered in a hallway, but the mayor did not wish to comment.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

  Comments