Decisions – COA – Oct. 6, 2015 – part 1

Jason Case v. State –  tender years – Case,  the  principal at Hazlehurst Middle School, became qualified to serve as a foster parent.  In January 2011, two boys were placed in his care.  Case was eventually charged with touching one of the boys inappropriately.  He was found guilty of two counts of fondling. On appeal he argues that (1) the tender-years hearsay exception was improperly applied; (2) that he was irreparably prejudiced by irrelevant character evidence; (3) his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective; and (4) the trial court erred in allowing the State to refer to him as a “pedophile” during closing arguments. The COA finds that it was not error to allow hearsay statements made by the 13-year-old victim even though the trial court did not make an on-the-record determination of reliability. Case argues that it was error to allow the state to tell the jury that Case that he placed photographs of the children on Facebook and that he allowed the children to play with gasoline.  The COA rejects this argument based on the lack of specificity of Case’sobjection at trial.

Paxton Austin v. State –  boating DUI –  Austin was involved in a boating accident on the Tennessee Tombigbee River in August of 2012.   He was eventually convicted in the Clay County Circuit Court of boating under the influence in connection with the accident. He was sentenced to twenty-four hours in the local jail and ordered to complete a boating-safety course conducted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. His jail time was suspended upon payment of a $1,000 fine and all court costs.  On appeal he raises only weight of the evidence and loses.

R. Don Williams v. Estate of Haywood Ellis –  rescission of partnership – This is a partnership dispute over Quadrangle Properties  which owns and manages a building on Ridgewood Road.  Don Williams was supposed to own 5/6 amd H. F. Woody Ellis was to own 1/6.   Ellis Realty was to manage the property for 10% of the gross rent per month.   Ellis was to pay 450,000 but paid $45,833.33.  In May 2012, Ellis filed a complaint asking that 1/6 interest in the property be conveyed to him and thatthe property be sold.  He also asked for $36,000 owed in managemet fees. The chancellor rescinded the partnership agreement, awarded Ellis $16,737 in management fees, awarded Ellis $48,166 for the funds Ellis paid for his interest, and denied all other relief.  Williams appealed and the COA affirms. .

Oudia Claiborne v. OCWEN – collateral estoppel –  Claiborne sued Ocwen in 2003 alleging wrongful foreclosure.  The money orders Claiborne introduced as evidence of her payments turned out to be payable to Claiborne.  The court dismissed Claiborne’s case with prejudice. Claiborne continued to file motions.   In January 2013, Claiborne filed a second complaint against Ocwen.  The court granted summary judgment to Ocwen based on collateral estoppel.  Claiborne appeals. The COA affirms.

L C Fisher v MDES –  unemployment benefits – Fisher worked as a security guard for King’s Daughters Hospital in Yazoo City  from January 2012, until he was fired in May of 2013 after a gunshot victim was admitted to the ER and Fisher failed to stop people from following the victim into the ER.  One of the nurses called 911 after Fisher failed to respond to a page.  Fisher was fired for neglecting his duties. He applied for unemployment which was denied. The COA affirms.

pro se PCR appeals affirmed:

Rochester Presley v. State

Reginald Mason v. State

Antonio Burgin v. State

Anthony Ruffin v. State

Patrick Fluker v. State

William Tedder v. State 

William Smothers v. State

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