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Man accused of murder released on bond

Jesse Scott Smith has been released on bond as he awaits trial in Lincoln County Circuit Court.

Smith, now 41, is accused of murder in the shooting death of John Bennett, 42, on April 21, 2018, at Bennett’s home on Spring Lake Road. Smith has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Trial is set to begin July 14, with a jury from Walthall County seated to hear the case. On May 14, Smith’s attorney asked the court to reduce Smith’s $500,000 bond. Judge David Strong denied the motion after Assistant District Attorney Brendon Adams objected, saying the prosecution’s witnesses were afraid of the defendant and that Smith could be considered a flight risk since he was living in Alabama at the time of his arrest on April 22, 2018.

This week, bond was posted by members of Smith’s family and he was released into the custody of a family member until his trial. Smith has been housed in Lincoln County Jail since his arrest.