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Mississippi mom swaps death row for jail cell to await trial

By Marlena Baldacci, CNN
updated 6:48 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Michelle Byrom has spent about 14 years on death row in husband's killing. She now awaits a new trial.
Michelle Byrom has spent about 14 years on death row in husband's killing. She now awaits a new trial.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michelle Byrom was moved to county jail over weekend to await new trial
  • Byrom spent about 14 years on death row for husband's contract killing
  • Court documents allege her son has admitted to the killing more than once
  • She's currently alone in cell and not receiving special treatment, sheriff says

CNN's original series "Death Row Stories" explores America's capital punishment system. Join the conversation about the death penalty at facebook.com/cnn or Twitter @CNNorigSeries using #DeathRowStories.

(CNN) -- A Mississippi woman whose death sentence was overturned has been moved from state prison to county jail, where she will await a new trial, authorities say.

Michelle Byrom was moved to Tishomingo County Jail on Saturday. The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed her capital murder conviction on March 31 and ordered a new trial.

Byrom was sentenced to death in 2000 after a jury determined she was the mastermind of a murder-for-hire plot to kill her allegedly abusive husband. Her son wrote in jailhouse letters that he committed the crime, and according to court documents, told a court-appointed psychologist that he was culprit.

According to Tishomingo County Sheriff Glenn Whitlock, Byrom was picked up by sheriff officials Saturday morning and is being held under the original capital murder indictment until the county district attorney or court system takes the next steps.

Whitlock told CNN that Byrom isn't receiving any special treatment, and she is currently alone in her cell, but could have cellmates at any time.

Byrom's new trial date has not been set yet, according to the Tishomingo County Circuit clerk.

The attorney who represented Byrom during the effort to have her conviction reversed no longer represents the 57-year-old. Efforts to reach her new counsel were not immediately successful.

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