NEWS

Prosecutor: Teacher’s photo case ‘fraught with irregularities’

http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_26296546-0dd0-11e4-b986-0019bb2963f4.html

Political leanings discussed at party meeting

  • By Randy Hammons, Enterprise-Journal

  •  

    • Oct 5, 2011

http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_14e937ce-ef75-11e0-b41b-001cc4c002e0.html

Assault charges nixed against teacher

had been filed in error after grand jury no-bill

  • FROM STAFF REPORTS

  •  

    • Oct 10, 2014

http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_420d7ee0-509d-11e4-8cae-676943250bac.html

Alleged police brutality victim gets 2nd chance

  • Jan 7, 2014

http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_82b38a3a-77bc-11e3-9fb2-0019bb2963f4.html

News

BREWER WEARS MANY HATS AS PROSECUTOR

 

Matt Williamson | Enterprise-Journal​​ - Jul 5, 2016

 

David Brewer was headed back to McComb from Tylertown on Highway 98, and along the way he reached in his glove compartment to grab a pen.

As he grasped the implement, he realized it wasn’t a pen at all; it was a crack pipe — a parting gift left by the man who had broken into Brewer’s truck and stolen a handgun.

To Brewer, that’s the type of guy who keeps his job security sky high.

As prosecutor for Pike County, the City of McComb and Pike County Youth Court, Brewer estimates he’s handled 31,000 cases since 2006, when he moved from Jackson back to his native Pike County and became  prosecutor. That includes 25,000 total charges, 2,500 trials resulting in 1,750 convictions, not to mention another 5,100 juvenile delinquency cases and 1,400 or so child protective orders.

Brewer said numbers like that are what have earned his appointments as prosecutor in youth court and for McComb, and partly why he “was fortunate to have a sweeping victory in an unopposed election” for the county prosecutor job.

But even his 70 percent conviction record isn’t enough to ease his worries about driving around with a crack pipe.

“When you’re the county prosecutor driving on the road and you find a crack pipe in your car, you kind of freak out,” he said.

Brewer, the son of the late Roy Brewer and Ganeath Daniel, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1989 and received his law degree from Ole Miss.

After practicing law in Jackson, he decided to move back to Pike County.

“It’s the place I call home, and it’s that place eventually where they’re going to close that box on me and put me down,” he told members of the McComb Exchange Club on Thursday.

Brewer noted that as a prosecutor he has a lot of the same authority as the district attorney, but it’s exercised in a different court.

Between his three jobs, he appears before seven different judges in four different courts — youth court, county court, McComb Municipal Court and Pike County Justice Court.

While the DA prosecutes felonies, Brewer mostly handles misdemeanor cases. However, it’s also his job to argue felony cases during preliminary hearings in municipal and justice court, where a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence for the grand jury to hear a case.

Brewer said others have different ideas about his job.

“Most people think of me as the guy they call to get a ticket fixed,” he said. “... One thing that you need to say if you call to get a ticket fixed, is not that, ‘I wasn’t doing anything wrong and you ought to throw this ticket out,’ but I like to say, ‘Confession is good for the soul, and you ought to go ahead and confess.’ ”

He said traffic violations are usually the easiest to prosecute, giving the example of a motorist pleading for leniency, insisting his cruise control was set on 72 when he got stopped on the interstate.

“Your honor, I agree. He was going at least 72 miles per hour,” Brewer said.

Property thefts and drug cases are the most common.

“Kids seem to like breaking into cars and smoking weed. That’s the two biggest things that I deal with,” Brewer said.

He said “the statistics bear out” that property theft in Pike County is 109 percent higher than the national average. Auto burglaries are especially commonplace among juvenile offenders, he said.

“They’re going out at night, and they’re popping door latches, and if the door is unlocked they see it as an open invitation to enter your car,” Brewer said.

He said there are other cases that keep him busy, including those born out of domestic disputes — “baby mama cases,” as he calls them.

He said the rise of single-parent households is making fatherhood and monogamy diametrically opposed, and the fallout tends to be women feuding over the same man — and getting arrested when things get out of hand.

“I often times find myself embroiled in the battle,” he said. “I do get a lot of domestic cases.”

Brewer noted that “in some ways I expedite the judicial process” by working with the DA to get defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges, clearing up the circuit court docket.

With his varied roles in holding people accountable for their crimes, Brewer said he’s not likely to win popularity contests.

“I get called a lot of names and if it weren’t such a wholesome environment I could tell you what they are,” he quipped, revealing some of the more milder not-so-honorary titles — “prostitutor” and “persecutor.”

Brewer to challenge Taylor for circuit judge

  Enterprise-Journal

  • Jan 3, 2018​

 

Qualifying for November’s non-partisan judicial races began Tuesday, and at least one local circuit judge’s race will be contested.

David Lee Brewer filed papers to run against incumbent Circuit Court Judge Mike Taylor in the 14th Circuit Court District covering Pike, Lincoln and Walthall counties.

Brewer has served as Pike County prosecutor since 2008. He also has served as a prosecutor for the City of McComb, as an interim prosecutor in Tylertown and Walthall County and as a special prosecutor in Lincoln County. He has been in private practice for 17 years. Brewer and his wife Deidre live in Summit.

3 more Pike officials switch to GOP

Following the lead of Pike County Circuit Clerk Roger Graves, three more county officials announced Thursday they’re switching to the Republican Party.

Joining the Grand Old Party are District 3 Supervisor Chuck Lambert, District 5 Supervisor Gary Honea and county prosecutor David Brewer.

The three formally announced the change at a Republican Party Christmas banquet Thursday night . . . 

Brewer said the biggest reason for his switch is the Republicans’ fiscal policy.

“The platforms of the parties as far as federal government budgets and state budgets, I think my views are more aligned with those of the Republican Party. Then again, on social issues my views may be in the middle. . . ”

Brewer also said he was influenced by Graves’ decision.

“I have known Roger Graves since I was a child in elementary school,” Brewer said.

“To be in the same political party with a person as fine as Roger Graves, and then to avoid having issues with supporting my relatives who are in office, it would help to be in a party that they’re in,” he said, referring to his uncle Luke Brewer, who is Pike County District 4 supervisor and a Republican.

“I spoke with my wife about it, prayed about it. I just think there are fine people on both sides,” Brewer said.

He said he doesn’t think elected officials in the criminal justice system should have to run by political party anyway. And he said party affiliation has no bearing on how he does his job as prosecutor.

“My personal opinion is that no one in the criminal justice system should have to be affiliated with a party,” Brewer said. “However, our Legislature has for some reason allowed district attorneys and justice court judges and county prosecutors to affiliate with parties. That flies in the face of justice being blind, but you have to play with the cards being dealt and as it is I have to affiliate. Hopefully in the future there will be non-partisan elections.”

Pike pulls lever for Brewer, Jones

Pike County voters cast a majority of their ballots for county prosecutor David Brewer in his race for Post 1 circuit judge, but they didn’t overcome the rest of the district.

In complete but unofficial results, incumbent 14th Circuit Judge Mike Taylor retained his place on the bench by carrying his home Lincoln County by about a 3-to-1 margin and winning Walthall County by about 100 votes.

Brewer got 60 percent of the vote in Pike County, winning in home territory over Taylor 7,138-4,602.

Brewer thanked his supporters on Facebook late Tuesday night and announced he would run again in 2022.

Judicial candidates court voters

 

A circuit court judge and a prosecutor opposing him for re-election in November introduced themselves and briefly laid out their campaign platforms last week during a local Republican party meeting.

Mike Taylor of Brookhaven has been on the bench in the 14th Circuit Court District in Pike, Lincoln and Walthall Counties since former Gov. Haley Barbour appointed him to take the place of Keith Starrett, who received a federal judicial appointment.

He faces David Lee Brewer, who has been prosecutor in McComb and Pike County for more than a decade.

Speaking Thursday at a meeting of the Republican Party of Southwest Mississippi they courted voters and outlined their backgrounds.

They’ll face each other in a non-partisan November general election. . . 

David Lee Brewer

Brewer touted his Pike County roots and his ability to maintain a large caseload.

“I was born and raised right here in Pike County. ... I’m as well-rooted in this county as anyone can be,” he said.

Brewer graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and became a commissioned officer in which “the U.S. government entrusted me with 150 nuclear warheads.”

In his 17 years in legal practice, he’s had 800 clients and argued cases in 58 of Mississippi’s 82 counties, he said.

He has served as McComb’s municipal prosecutor and Pike County prosecutor for more than a decade, in addition to prosecuting cases in Tylertown city court and county courts in Walthall and Lincoln counties.

Brewer said he’s most concerned with maintaining the court district’s docket.

“A judge should be able to handle a caseload,” he said. “Do I know how to handle a caseload? From 2015 and 2016 in McComb, where I have been an 11-year prosecutor, and in the county, there have been over 22,000 cases in those two years. By extrapolation that’s right at 11,000 to 12,000 cases a year that I have been primarily responsible for prosecuting in addition to running a private practice.”

In addition to swiftly clearing a court docket of new cases, Brewer said he has worked hard to get through a backlog of appeals.

“I can carry a workload. I can clear dockets,” he said. “The backlog on the appeals docket to the Pike County Court when I took office in 2008 went back to 1998 — one decade. There’s not an appeal one there now that’s more than two years old.”

Brewer closed on a humorous note by encouraging audience members to ask attorneys about who they would want to see behind the bench.

“Ask your local bar association who they would recommend. What do they think of us as individuals and men? And if it’s not me that they recommend, ask my mother,” he said.

Taylor, Brewer vie for circuit benchcircuit bench

 

Two men with years of court experience will compete Tuesday for the position of circuit court judge in Pike, Lincoln and Walthall counties.

Longtime prosecutor David Lee Brewer is challenging incumbent Mike Taylor in the non-partisan race for District 14 judge . . . 

David Lee Brewer, 47, of Summit has worked as a prosecutor in various courts since 2005.

“I’ve been primarily responsible for the prosecution of tens of thousands of cases,” he said. “I have done felony criminal defense jury trials, personal injury trials, defense work in circuit courts. I have practiced at every level of the court system in the state of Mississippi. In 2016 I was admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Brewer was born and raised in McComb. He attended North Pike and then McComb High School, where he was student body president, competed on the state champion mock trial team and served as captain of the world champion Odyssey of the Mind team.

 

Then-Congressman Wayne Dowdy appointed Brewer to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he graduated in 1993. He was then stationed in North Dakota as a nuclear missile launch officer.

“I was in command of a multi-million-dollar nuclear missile launch facility and charged with the command, control and targeting of 150 Mark 12-A nuclear warheads on 50 Minute Man intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Brewer said.

When he got out of the Air Force he went to Ole Miss law school, graduating in 1998 with a juris doctorate. He also has a bachelor’s degree and a master of social studies with emphasis in sociology, psychology and anthropology. And he served as a cheerleader at Ole Miss.

He practiced law in Ridgeland from 2001 to 2005, when he returned to McComb. He opened Brewer Law Firm and was appointed Pike County Youth Court prosecutor.

In 2007 he was appointed McComb city prosecutor, a position he held until last month. In 2008 he was elected county prosecutor, and he also filled in as prosecutor for Tylertown city court and Walthall County youth and justice courts in 2009-10.

In all, Brewer has spent 13 years as a youth court prosecutor, handling some 3,000 juvenile delinquency cases and as many child abuse and neglect cases.

He’s a former member of the National College of DUI Defense and attended its training for two years at Harvard University.

Serving as judge has been a childhood ambition.

“I have wanted to run for circuit judge since 1985,” Brewer said, citing a ninth-grade meeting with the late Judge Joe Pigott as inspirational.

His lifelong plans were to serve in the military, work as a lawyer, then become a judge or Congressman.

“I was going to run four years ago and I decided to rein that in and wait,” Brewer said. “I thought I owed the courtesy of that to the court to let him know what was coming.”

Brewer said he will make some changes if elected.

“I think civil cases need to be ruled on quickly,” he said. “I don’t think any lawyer should have to wait several months to get a motion hearing date before the tribunal. I think a case shouldn’t linger on the docket for 10 years and then have the judge recuse himself and not give a reason.”

He also wants to make changes in courthouse security practices.

“I plan on turning the security of the courthouse over to the sheriff like the Mississippi Code says, rather than have the drug court staff attend those details,” Brewer said.

Brewer said most District 14 judges have been from Pike County and he wants to carry on that tradition.  

“I think the people deserve a common man as their judge, somebody that’s from here, grew up here most of their life and know the people of this district,” he said.

Brewer and wife Deidre have been married for 13 years and attend First Baptist Church of Summit. He’s a Freemason and a Shriner, a former McComb Lions Club member and a 29-year member of the American Legion.

In his spare time he likes hunting, working on his property and watching football.