What happens next for Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson? - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

What happens next for Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson?

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JONESBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The jury in the trial involving Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson convicted him on all three counts of malfeasance in office. Our Nolan Crane has been in the courtroom since day one and he shows us the mood was like in the courtroom.

There were more than 100 people inside when the decision was announced. All of the benches were filled up and it was standing room only. The judge warned everyone not to react when the verdict was read. That was nearly impossible for people to do in an emotional case like this. When the first guilty count was read some broke out in tears, others immediately left in frustration.

This was the scene outside the courtroom after Mayor Leslie Thompson was found guilty on all three felony counts of malfeasance in office. Some of the mayor's supporters were upset and needed help to their cars because they couldn't walk. A lot of the people in attendance say they disagree with the decision the six jurors made, including Thompson's lawyers.

"This is a travesty of justice because basically the state really did not prove their case. We are disappointed and we are planning to move to a higher court," said Carol Powell Lexing.

During her closing arguments Carol Lexing admitted that there were problems in the town. She didn't feel as if the state's attorney proved that the mayor intentionally neglected or refused to maintain the town's records. However, the jury based on their decision felt otherwise, which made the state's attorney lea hall happy. He was also shocked on the speed of deliberation.

"On a case of this type and especially on these charges I would consider that a speedy verdict," said Lea Hall.

During the duration of this case Thompson's attorneys have filed five motions for a mistrial and they did it once again today. This time they say it was because their character was called into question. Sentencing for Leslie Thompson is scheduled for November 13th. His attorneys discuss the penalty the mayor now faces with this conviction.

"Zero to 15 years. He could possible get probation on any part of that 15," said Louis Scott.

Mayor Thompson's attorneys are filing appeals with the higher courts on today's decisions. They hope that their case will be heard before the sentencing takes place. Leslie Thompson is also suspended from being the town's mayor because of the conviction.

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