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It was a year to remember or forget at Southern Miss, depending on your perspective.
Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Bob Helfrich entered an order in October for Tyner to be mentally evaluated before his trial.
As the internal investigation ended, a criminal investigation began. That investigation is ongoing.
As the College Board ramped up the search for a new president, Lucas found himself confronted with another tough decision in his role as interim chief. New head football coach Ellis Johnson, hired during Saunders' administration, guided the Golden Eagles to a stunning 0 12 campaign, generating widespread anger among the team's fan base.
Shortly after the shooting at Cucos Mexican Caf, police apprehended Scott Ashley Tyner, 44, fleeing the scene on foot nearby.
2 escapees charged in slayingJames Robert Martin, 22, and David Bass, Reebok Dmx Walking Shoes
City Council members tabled the vote on Evans' appointment, citing the need for time to research any decision, and appointed two temporary judges.
26, were serving five and seven year sentences for theft related convictions when they walked off the Forrest County Community Work Center Site in October.
It also was agreed that the three clerks who were suspended by the city as a result of an HPD probe would not return to the court.
Here is a look at some of the other top stories or 2012.
Lucas fired Johnson at the end of the season, with the plan to swallow his $2.1 million buyout through private donors. Two weeks later, Lucas and Hammond announced the hiring of Oklahoma State University Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken as the new head coach.
Meanwhile, the questions involving Saunders' departure heightened in June when it was revealed that, prior to her resignation, Saunders and Hammond were looking to put to bid certain business contracts they deemed unfavorable to the university.
Mayor Johnny DuPree initially intended to replace the three judges with local attorney Jerry Evans effective Oct. 1. One judge already had tendered his resignation in late July, but another sent letters to the city via her attorney stating she would not resign, and alleging retaliatory and discriminatory conduct.
Stories of the year
When Martha Saunders unexpectedly resigned in April after five years as president Reebok Run Supreme 2.0
The publication of text messages in August from state College Board member and Southern Bone and Joint owner Doug Rouse to Saunders indicated that Rouse and other local business leaders questioned her decision to back Hammond as AD.
the fallout from a messy athletic director search? Was it the influence of an intrusive state College Board that hampered her ability to govern? All of the above?
In an effort to clean up its act, the city began making moves to change its three, part time judge arrangement to a single, full time judge.
Closure has not come so quickly in the effort to replace Saunders. According to the College Board timeline, a new president will be announced this spring. Meanwhile Saunders has moved on to serve as provost of the University of West Florida.
Council eventually approved Evans' appointment, and he took over the court on Nov. 6.
Included in those proposed bids was the school's beverage contract, currently held by Coca Cola, and the rights to orthopedic medical services for student athletes, currently performed, sans contract, by Southern Bone and Joint Specialists.
A Hattiesburg City Court Judge denied Tyner the opportunity to post bond following his arrest on the grounds that he would likely pose a public threat if released.
A Forrest County grand jury indicted Tyner in August with five counts of aggravated assault. State law provides for a 100 year maximum sentence if Tyner is convicted on all five counts.
They found themselves in much more trouble the next time they saw the inside of a jail.
Hattiesburg city court problemsA Hattiesburg Police Department internal investigation beginning in late July and ending in mid September revealed multiple cases of unethical and possibly criminal conduct in the city court system. One court clerk was fired, and another three were suspended.
Those cases included improperly destroying warrants and receiving rewards for dismissing tickets, fines and warrants among other violations of internal policy and potentially criminal law.
They also suggested that Rouse was attempting to influence Saunders in the process, despite the fact that Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds said the AD decision was solely at her discretion. Rouse denied such influence.
At the same time, Rouse found himself in hot water with the Mississippi Ethics Commission, when the ethics body ruled in July that his dual positions as board trustee and owner of Southern Bone and Joint constituted a conflict of interest. The ethics commission later revised its opinion in November, allowing Rouse to stay on the board.
Then Hattiesburg police spokesman Lt. that day.
To right the boat, university officials turned to a previous captain to serve as interim president: Aubrey Lucas, who served as Southern Miss president from 1975 to 1997. Lucas turned around and pulled the plug on the divisive AD search, by appointing to a one year contract associate athletic director Jeff Hammond. Hammond, who was Saunders' AD choice, had publicly expressed his discontent with the athletic department's $1 million plus debt problem.
Cucos shootingFive were hospitalized following a random shooting April 2 at a Hattiesburg restaurant.
Both are charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of Ada Smith, 95, who was found dead Oct. 21 in her Mississippi 589 home.
citing personal reasons, the move elicited stunned questions from folks in the university community. Was it fallout from Tabletgate, the 2011 computer purchasing scandal that cost Provost Bob Reebok Freestyle Hi Black Womens Lyman his job? Was it Saucony Pink Shoes
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