Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – July 24, 2014

Alisha Vanwey v. State – on cert., the Court took up the case of Alisha Vanwey or Gadd or Van Wey or Way or Vanney, etc. who pleaded guilty in 2007 to three counts of selling hydrocodone. She was sentenced as an habitual to 11 years each to run concurrently. SHe filed a pcr petition challenging her status as a habitual. She had two priors. On one of these she was sentenced to 45 days in the custody of MDOC followed by five years of post release supervision. SHe claims this does not meet Sect. 99-19-81‘s requirement that the defendant be sentenced to a term of one year or more on a state or federal penal institution. The trial court denied relief and, on appeal, the Court of Appeals held that her sentence of 45 days plus five years of post release supervision qualified as a sentence of one year or more. On cert., the Court holds that she waived her right to challenge the habitual part of her sentence when she pleaded guilty. Justice Dickinson, joined by Kitchens, Chandler and King, dissents finding that waivers must be knowingly and intelligently made and there is no record here to indicate that Vanway waived her right to challenge her habitual status. “To the contrary, the record is quite clear that her attorney wrongly advised her that she qualified as a habitual offender. Because today’s decisions turns the law of waiver on its head, I respectfully dissent.”

Jeffrey Wayne Yeatman v. State – IN 2006, Yeatman pleaded guilty to one count of simple assault on a police officer and two counts of third driving under the influence. He was sentenced to five years on the assault with a $5000 fine, five years as an habitual on one count of dui and one year on the other. The sentences were to be served consecutively. Yeatman filed a pcr petition and the court remanded for the fine to be reduced from $5000 to $1000. He also challenged his habitual status on one of the duis and the court ordered the trial court to vacate that status if it found on remand that he had not been charged as an habitual. Yeatman argued that his criminal information on the dui count did not charge him as an habitual. The criminal information for one of the duis contained the habitual offender language and the other did not. During the sentencing hearing, though, the numbers of the two duis were transposed (they were 2006-0327 and 2006-0328). On remand the court corrected the transposition and found that Yeatman had been correctly sentenced. On appeal, a unanimous Miss.S.Ct agrees finding that the trial court acted within its inherent authority when it corrected the transposed numbers.

4 thoughts on “Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – July 24, 2014

  1. Wasn’t there a criminal conviction that was reversed today? Seems like an appropriate case for summarization.

      • I assumed that was the case of someone under 18 sentenced to life. Meant to check on that.
        And that is the case:
        Terun Moore v. State of Mississippi; Hinds Circuit Court 1st District; LC Case #: 98-4-074; Ruling Date: 03/29/2011; Ruling Judge: Bobby DeLaughter; Disposition: Petition for Post-Conviction Relief filed pro se by Terun Moore is granted. Terun Moore’s sentence is vacated and the case is remanded for a new sentencing hearing to be conducted consistent with this Court’s opinion in Parker. Order entered.

        His pro se petition

  2. It is disconcerting that there is even a question of waiver in the context of an illegal sentence. It seems to me that society as a whole has an interest in not incarcerating people illegally, even if the people agree to be incarcerated illegally.

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