Dozens of indictments dismissed after grand jury leader failed to follow procedure

SHELBY CO., Tenn. — UPDATE: The Shelby County District Attorney's Office issued a statement today saying the date of the incident was changed. It was initially reported that the grand jury foreperson failed to follow proper procedure on July 31, but that was corrected to say it happened on July 17.

The 199 indictments made on July 31 will be reissued, while 44 indictments from July 17 will be have to be resubmitted.

Dozens of indictments against suspected criminals have been dismissed after the Shelby County grand jury foreperson failed to follow proper procedure, according to officials.

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The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that all indictments filed on July 17 will be dismissed and replaced by indictments to come from a future grand jury.

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And several of the people indicted from Operation Jack Rabbit – which began in January 2017 – will need to be indicted again because the grand jury failed to follow proper procedure the first time.

Thirty of the 55 defendants in Operation Jack Rabbit were previously arrested. Now, those cases are up in the air.

This action is being taken following orders by two judges declaring that foreperson Mary Thomas did not follow proper procedure.

According to the release, each grand jury has 12 members, plus five alternates and a foreperson. Only the 12 members are permitted to enter the grand jury room and remain there during testimony, deliberation and vote.

During the proceedings on July 17, Thomas allowed the 12 members -- plus the five alternates -- to participate in deliberation and voting procedures.

We are working to get a list of the names of those affected by the dismissed indictments.