Longtime Meridian attorney dies at 53
From staff reports
Nov. 27, 2001
The drama of real life surpassed that of the courtroom today, as public defender William "Bill" Neville of Meridian died at his home of a massive heart attack.
Neville had been scheduled to begin day two of a kidnapping and sexual battery trial in Lauderdale County District Court, squaring off against Assistant District Attorney Lisa Howell.
Circuit Judge Larry Roberts is expected to declare a mistrial in the case, and schedule a new court date.
Lauderdale County Coroner Marl Cobler said the 53-year-old attorney died about 7 a.m. Neville had practiced law since 1983 and had been a public defender for three years.
District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell, a family friend, said Neville's death is a major loss for the city.
Neville was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and was active in the community.
Mitchell, a member of another Episcopal church in Meridian, the Church of the Mediator, said he and others were very aware of Neville's contributions to the community.
Meridian attorney Gary Jones said Neville was a caring man.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete at James F. Webb Funeral Home.