Convicted Scott County Man Granted New Trial

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Waldron resident James N. Bynum was back in a Scott County courtroom on Monday, January 7. The Arkansas Supreme Court recently ruled that Bynum’s sentence be reversed and remanded due to ineffective counsel. Judge Jerry Don Ramey ordered Bynum be transported from the Wrightsville Unit of the Arkansas Department of Corrections in Wrightsville, AR to the Scott County Jail on January 4.

Bynum, who was convicted in 2015, was found guilty of 10 counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree, a class D Felony and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, a class B felony. After finding Bynum guilty, the jury handed down a 100 year sentence. Ten counts, the Supreme Court ruled reversed and remanded.

In October, the judgement of the circuit court was reversed and remanded by the State Supreme Court. Judge Kenneth Hixson ruled that Bynum’s counsel was “deficient” and that the court “erred in not finding that Mr. Bynum’s counsel’s deficient performance prejudiced the defense.” Furthermore, “We believe the fact of being charged with twelve crimes instead of two was, in itself, prejudicial to Mr. Bynum. Couple that with the fact, at the jury trial Mr. Bynum received, the jury was given no limiting instructions…Under these circumstances, we hold that there was a reasonable probability that the outcome of the trial would have been different had Mr. Bynum’s counsel not been deficient.”See the ruling in its entirety here.

During Monday’s hearing, Judge Ramey set Bynum’s bond at $75,000, cash or commercial. As of Tuesday morning, Bynum remains in the Scott County Jail.

 

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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