Decisions – COA – August 25, 2015

In  the Matter of the Estate of Audie Belle English v. Regions Bank –  presumption of payment – In 1990, Audie Belle English and three  of her relatives purchased a $75,000 certificate of deposit  from Sunburst Bank in Laurel, Mississippi. The CD’s terms noted that the CD would automatically renew every six months at the bank’s prevailing rate of interest at the time of renewal. Any of the CD holders could cash out the CD without permission from the others, as long as the original certificate of deposit was presented to the bank. Almost twenty years later,  the last remaining CD holder, Audie Belle, presented the original certificate for redemption at the bank which was now titled Regions Bank.  When  Regions could not locate any records relating to the CD, it refused to redeem the CD, concluding that the CD must have already been cashed out.  English passed away  and her  executrix, Elizabeth June English, sued Regions on behalf of Audie Belle’s estate.  The chancellor granted summary judgment for the bank.  The COA reverses and remands. In  its motion, Regions relied on “a legal presumption of payment after the lapse of twenty years between the right to enforce an obligation and an attempt to do so.”   Mississippi, though, has no such presumption.

Similarly, we find Regions’s failure to furnish any direct evidence as to where the proceeds went and who had received them, combined with the evidence that Audie Belle had never surrendered the original CD, created a genuine issue of material fact for the chancery court to consider and was not an issue that entitled Regions to a judgment as a matter of law.

Courtney McGahee v. State –  possession of marijuana in prison  –  Courtney McGahee was convicted of possession of controlled substance, marijuana,  in a correctional facility.  McGahee was in the Leflore County Adult Detention Center when an officer smelled smoke.  The smoke was traced to a cell containing four inmates. Tobaccor and marijuana were found under the bunk of one inmate.  McGahee stated that they belonged to him.  McGahee later signed a written statement that  that he threw the sock containing marijuana under the inmates bunk.  At trial, McGahee testified that he lied and was merely trying to help someone out because he believed he would never be charged.   Prior to trial, McGahee’s indictment was amended to charge him as an habitual.  When McGahee was found guilty, the court  sentenced him  as an habitual offender to seven years  without  parole.  On appeal his counsel filed a Lindsey brief.  McGahee did not file his own brief.  After  reviewing the record, the COA finds no reversible error and affirms.

Eugene Washington v. State –  sexual battery – Eugene Washington was convicted of six counts related to the sexual abuse of his stepdaughter over the  course of about six months with the last occurring on her thirteenth birthday. He  was also convicted of failure to register as a sexual offender. On appeal, his attorney filed a Lindsey brief.  Washington submitted his own appeal brief contending that the State presented perjured testimony and that his convictions are unsupported by the evidence.   The Court affirms.

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