The criminal trial against Dispatch managing editor Zack Plair has been continued to Jan. 13.
Plair, a Starkville resident, was arrested under misdemeanor charges of simple assault by threat and disorderly conduct in April 2019 after an incident with Columbus city employee Rogena Bonner at the Trotter Convention Center. Plair was inspecting public documents related to a city councilman receiving a discounted rental rate at the city-owned convention center when Bonner told Plair he could not take photos of the public documents. Bonner called the police and alleged that Plair raised his voice at her and would not leave the premises. Plair was arrested in The Dispatch newsroom and booked at Lowndes County Adult Detention Center nearly two weeks later.
Plair’s case had previously been moved from municipal court to county court. On Tuesday, Plair’s attorney Rodney A. Ray told Lowndes County Judge Allison Kizer that while the city had provided some redacted documents, other documents and video footage that had been requested had not been provided. Ray requested the city provide body camera footage of Plair’s arrest; Plair’s statement to police; surveillance footage from Trotter on the day of the incident; the recording of the 911 call Bonner made; the arrest warrant; the affidavit issued against Plair; and the full body camera footage from a conversation Plair had with Chief Fred Shelton on April 11, two days after the incident.
After asking the city prosecutor why the items had not been provided, Judge Kizer ruled that Ray should receive these items.
The trial is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan 13.
Publisher’s note: This story was neither written nor edited by Dispatch Managing Editor Zack Plair.