Decisions – COA – April 14, 2015

Randy Wrigley v. David Harris and Mary Ann Harris –  zoning – Randy Wrigley submitted a request to the Jackson County Planning Department seeking a change in zoning from  Agricultural Residential District to  Agricultural-Residential District (Smaller-Lot Development). The property at issue comprised some 163.28 acres and the plan was to build a subdivision. The planning dep’t denied the request but the Board of Supervisors approved it. Neighbors David and Mary Ann Hall appealed to the circuit court which  reversed the Board’s decision on the grounds that it was not supported by clear and convincing evidence. Wrigley appealed.  The COA affirms finding, like the trial court, that Wrigley failed to produce clear and convincing evidence that the character of the neighborhood had changed.

Markeith Fleming v. Statecontinuance – Fleming was convicted of murder and agg. assault that occurred when someone shot into a vehicle driven by  Christopher Graham with Derrick Hannah as a passenger.  Graham died. Hannah had no doubt that Fleming was the shooter although he professed to know no motive. On appeal, Fleming argues that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a continuance; (2) Fleming received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (3) the verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. The continuance was requested because the state for the first time notified the defense two weeks prior to trial that it had a witness who analyzed Fleming cell phone records.  “After our review, we find no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s admission of Gandy’s testimony into evidence at trial. See id.; M.R.E. 702. We also find that the defense received the cell-phone records six months prior to the trial date, and received notice of Gandy as a State witness approximately two weeks prior to trial. Accordingly, we find no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s denial of Fleming’s request for a continuance.”  Fleming argues that trial counsel was deficient when he  allowed the State to present expert testimony through the cell phone witness without tendering him as an expert.  The COA finds this issue as well as the challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to have no merit.

Ravel WIlliams v. Statesex offender registration –  Williams pleaded guilty to having sex with someone under 14 when WIlliams was between 14 and 16 and was sentenced to 12 years with 6 suspended.  As a result of his conviction, he was required to register as a sex offender.   He filed a petition for relief from the registration requirements.   He argues that it violates the doctrine of ex post facto.  The COA rejects this argument because the Miss.S.Ct. rejected it in Garrison v. State, 950 So.2d 990, 992 (Miss. 1996).  Williams next argues that he meets the exemption requirement because the requirement does not  apply to an offender eighteen years or younger who committed a crime under Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-65(1)(a).  The problem is that the 97-3-65(1) under which Williams was convicted is not the same as it was when the sex offender registry was enacted. “[T he substance of the crimes Williams committed falls under the current section 97-3-65(1)(b).” WIlliams may qualify for the exemption that allows relief after 25 years but 25 years have not yet passed.

Kenneth Washington v. State –  Timeliness of appeal from justice to circuit court – Washington was found guilty in justice court of disturbing the peace on Sept. 16, 2013.  On May 2, 2014, he filed a notice of appeal with the circuit clerk.  The circuit court dismissed the appeal for failure to timely notice the appeal within 30 days as provided for by URCCC 12.02(A)(1). The COA affirms.

Antonio Sanders v. Statedon’t rob the same place you work especially if you have a teardrop tattoo under one eye – Antonio Sanders was convicted of attempted armed robbery and felon in possession of a firearm for attempting to rob the Captain D’s where he worked.  “He eventually walked out of the back of the restaurant after being recognized by the employees.” On appeal he argues that the verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.  The COA affirms.

Southeastern Autobrokers v. Lucious Gravesworkers comp.  – In 2006, Graves started to work for Nick Crechale in his three  used-car businesses.  He did  auto-detailing work and other odd jobs.  In  November of  2010, Graves fell from a trailer while offloading vehicles for one of the lots and his pinky finger was amputated. He was  not able to return to work for several months. The employer argued Graves was an independent contractor and that the lot did not have more than five employees.  The AJ found otherwise.  The Commission affirmed as does the COA.

PCR appeals affirmed

Kerry Morgan v. State

Brian Sweet v. State 

Gregory Allen v. State

Samuel Lee Thomas v. State

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