Decisions – Ct. of App. – March 25, 2014 – part two

McNair v. State – McNair was convicted of rape and sentenced to 35 years with 10 suspended.  McNair was accused of putting a gun to the neck of a girl passing through the back yard and raping her. The victim recognized McNair by his street name but did not report the rape to police for four days.  She did show up at a friend’s house right after the rape with her clothing torn and told her friend she had been raped. McNair maintained the sex was consensual.  At first he said he did not know the victim prior to that but before trial he claimed to have had sex with her on numerous occasions in exchange for crack.  At trial, McNair moved to have these statements about the sex for crack admitted into evidence but the trial court refused based on failure to comply with discovery requiring that he give notice he intended to use the statement 15 days before trial as required by MRE 412.  Nor could he testify to these allegations. he Court of Appeals held that the denial of this evidence was not error inasmuch as the rules are clear as to the discovery required to introduce such evidence.  McNair next argues that his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to introduce evidence of the victim’s sexual history. The Court holds that the record is not sufficient to decide this claim and, thus, it is dismissed without prejudice. The Court also rejects his argument regarding sufficiency of the evidence.

 

Mosby v. State – Mosby was convicted of fondling and sexual battery of an eleven-year-old family friend and sentenced to thirty years.   The allegations came to light when the kid reported the incident to her teacher.  The child’s mother, who had two other children, had the kids interviewed and her twelve-year-old boy also stated he had been abused by Mosby. That kid told the police that yet another child said he had been fondled by Mosby. Mosby, on appeal, argues that the evidence was insufficient.  The Court rejects this issue since the kids all testified.  He next argues that the jury instructions were defective in failing to contain a date but merely stating “on or about the date testified”. The Court first finds he waived this argument by failing to object at trial.  Furthermore, the indictment contained a range of dates specific enough not to violate due process and in a findling or sexual battery case the exact date is not required. He next argues that the trial court erred in finding that the tender years’ exception applied to the two who were thirteen at the time they testified (there is a rebuttable presumption that applies if the child younger than 12).  The tender years hearing was held outside the presence of the jury and the court found that it applied to most of the statements. Finally Mosby argues that his convictions for one count of sexual battery along with fondling is proscribed by the double jeopardy clause. The Court rejects this argument on the grounds that the victim’s testimony established two separate offenses even though they may have occurred on the same occasion.   

Crook v. City of Madison –  In a case of much interest to residents of Madison County (to judge from the comments on Jackson Jambalaya), Crook was convicted of two counts requiring person who rent properties to have a rental license.  Crook appeals arguing that 1) the ordinance was invalid, unconstitutional, and violated state law and 2)  the arrest warrants were invalid for lack of probable cause. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 

Pritchett v. State –  Pritchett was convicted of armed  robbery, and auto theft for which he was sentenced to thirty years. He argues the evidence was insufficient and that there was a lack of physical evidence tying him to the crimes.  The Court of Appeals affirms.

Hall v. Hall –  Here the mother appeals a change of custody to the father arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support a material change of circumstances and that the chancellor gave to much weight to her moral fitness.  The father’s petition to modify alleged:  poor dental care, improper care of dog bite, wife’s living with romantic partner, alcohol abuse, education neglect, tattered clothes and hygiene, mother’s Skoal use and “spiritual needs”. Mother argues this was error because there was insufficient evidence of adverse impact on the children.  The Court of Appeals affirms holding that it cannot say that the chancellor abused his discretion in modifying custody.

Cook v. Cook –   The Cooks were divorced and Jay was ordered to pay Mercedes $800 a month in periodic alimony.  He later moved to lower the payments and she moved to raise them. The chancellor ordered them lowered to $600 a month and Jay appealed arguing that this was not enough. Mercedes cross appealed.  The Court of Appeals affirms. 

In the matter of the Estate of Charles White –  The wife of the deceased sued to set aside two quit claim deeds given by White to his stepson.  The trial court dismissed her claim based on res judicata.  The Court of Appeals affirms. 

One thought on “Decisions – Ct. of App. – March 25, 2014 – part two

  1. Probably part one won’t appear because a certain judge granted a motion in limine forbidding it to appear.

    … Is it just me, or were those some rather heavy issues of 1st impression to have been deflected to the COA in the Crook v. City of Madison case?

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