IUKA, Miss. (WTVA) — Convicted murderer and death row inmate Michelle Byrom now has a second chance at living.
The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a retrial for Byrom in the murder for hire case of her husband, Edward Byrom Sr.
In 2000, a Tishomingo County judge found Byrom guilty and sentenced her to death, but 14 years later, she'll get a new trial.
"In my experience, it's very rare for this kind of release to be granted in any court in any state," said Byrom's attorney, David Calder.
WTVA contacted the original district attorney and prosecutor, as well as the original sheriff, for comment. None will speak right now because they say they're too close to the case and don't want to taint the new trial.
Calder wouldn't speak specifics, but he did offer some thought.
"We're also very pleased that Mrs. Byrom will have the opportunity to have a new trial with effective legal representation," he said. "She'll be given the chance to prove that she is, in fact, not guilty."
Donna Scott lived near Byrom when the murder happened.
"I come home and found out that there had been a murder in my back yard," she explained. "If there's more evidence to prove that she's innocent, there should be another trial. I'd hate to know that I sat on a jury that convicted an innocent person."
Others agree, but expect Byrom's new trial will have the same result.
"She was convicted then, and it's likely she'll be convicted again," said Iuka resident Ray Daniel.
Another said, "If she done it, they [oughta] put the needle in her arm."
The Supreme Court said the new trial must take place in Tishomingo County with a new judge.
"It's gonna be baffling, but it's gonna come back here to Tishomingo County," Daniel said. "We're gonna hear it. She'll have a lot of prayers, but I don't know if it's gonna make a difference."
The Mississippi Attorney General's Office has asked the State Supreme Court to explain why it ordered a new trial and why it's demanding a different judge.
So far, the Court has not responded.