Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – June 25, 2015

Jourdan River Estates v. Scott Favre, Cindy Favre and Jefferson Parker –  12(b)(6) versus summary judgment –  Jourdan River Estates was planning a 472 unit development on 269 acres  north of I-10 in Hancock County.  It filed several lawsuits against persons it blames for its failure to develop the property.  One case has already been to the Miss.S.Ct.  In Favre v. Jordan River Estate, the Court affirmed the trial court’s finding concerning the boundaries of the properties in dispute as well as an easement in favor of JRE on the Favre property.

In this case, JRE claimed that Scott and Cindy Favre and Jefferson and Constance Parker were “engaged in a determined effort to prevent development of the JRE tract by using a combination of legal and illegal means including violence, threats of violence, vandalism, obstructing the public road which leads to the JRE tract; placement of no trespassing signs and end of county maintenance signs; making false claims concerning property titles; etc. JRE and Yacht Club contend that this course of wrongful action has included building a gate across the public road which provides access to the JRE tract, locking the gate to obstruct traffic on the public road, falsely claiming to own the public road north of the gate, and falsely claiming to have the legal right to prohibit JRE and Yacht Club.”  The Favre and Parker defendants filed a motion to dismiss which the circuit court partially granted.  JRE filed an interlocutory appeal and the Miss.S.Ct. reverses and remands.

Because we find that Defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion should have been converted into a motion for summary judgment, as provided in Rule 56 of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, we reverse the circuit court’s order granting the Rule 12(b)(6) motion and remand for further proceedings.

David Cox v. State of Mississippi –   death penalty case affirmed – Cox was married to Kim.  They had two sons and she had a 12 year old daughter, L.K.  Cox was facing charges related to sexually abusing L.K. and possession of meth precursors.  Kim had a restraining order against him. In May of 2010, Cox  broke into the house, shot Kim and held Kim, L.K. and one of their sons hostage for hours while Kim slowly bled to death.  Meanwhile, Cox raped L.K. three times.  Cox was indicted for capital murder, 2 counts of kidnapping, 3 counts of  sexual battery,  burglary, and firing into an occupied dwelling.  He pleaded guilty.  A jury sentenced him to death.

On appeal, Cox  raised 14 issues including 1) whether the trial court erred in failing to change the venue; 2) whether Cox’s sentence must be vacated due to a constitutionally tainted jury selection process (race and death qualification); 3) the introduction of  inadmissible and Inflammatory evidence; 4) erroneous  instructions with regard to  aggravating instructions; 5) the denial of Cox’s  proposed jury instructions; 6) whether the verdict returned by the jury was sufficient under  MCA Sect. 99- 19-101 and 103 to support imposition by the trial court of a sentence of death; whether the death penalty was disproportionate.

The Miss.S.Ct. affirms.

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