Decisions – COA – Aug. 30, 2016

Pearlie Wright v. R.M.Smith Investments, L.P. premises liability –  Wright was leaving a store on  West Capitol Street in  Jackson.  SHe got in her car and someone drove up beside her, opened Wright’s passenger door and grabbed her purse.  Wright got out of her car and went to the assailant’s driver’s side front window and reached in to try and get her purse back.  As the robber drove away, Wright was dragged and injured.  She filed suit against the store.  Her premises security expert was Gerald Jones.  On summary judgment, the court struck Jones’ opinions as to causation on the grounds they were too speculative.  It then granted summary judgment for the store.  Wright appealed and the COA affirms.

Larry Pointer, III  v. State of Mississippi – murder – Pointer was convicted of murder and aggravated assault and sentenced to  life imprisonment. Pointer, Robert Brown and Ray Crawford drove to Memphis.  On the way back Pointer and Brown argued over gas money. At Pointer’s house, Pointer got out ostensibly to get gas money.  Crawford was asleep in t he back seat and woke up when he got shot in the arm.  Crawford ran inside.  911 was called and by the time first responders arrived Brown was lying in the grass with more than two dozen stab wounds.  Pointer argued that it was self defense because Brown had a shotgun (although Pointer admitted he may have overdone the stabbing).  He was convicted,   On appeal he argued sufficiency of the evidence and that he should have been granted a competency hearing. The court finds that he did have a competency haring and affirms.

Bobby Wilson, Jr. v. Tameka Edwards, Tommy Foster and Sylvia Roy – prison rules violation – Wilson has been in MDOC custody since 2004.  In 2014, he filed a Sect. 1983 claiming prison officials retaliated against him for exercising his free speech after he filed a grievance against an officer for failing to comply with the rules for allowing inmates’ bathroom breaks.  Wilson then received a rule violation report (RVR) for “making threatening and intimidating statements to Officer Edwards after she refused to open his cell door.”  He was found guilty of the rules violation and lost his phone privileges for 30 days.  Wilson then filed a Sect. 1983 suit claiming that the RVR was in retaliation for Wilson’s exercising of his free speech.      The trial court found that “Wilson’s threatened grievance based solely on Officer Edward[s]’s refusal to open the cell doors when he requested was frivolous and is insufficient to support a claim for retaliation under [section] 1983” and dismissed it under 12(b)(6).  The COA affirms.

Cory Cotten v. State of Mississippi – PCR – the COA affirms the denial of Cotton’s pro se PCR.  He pleaded guilty but then claimed the indictment was defective.

Jeremy Flynn v. Michael Bland and Vickey Blandcustody – Madison Bland and Jeremy Flynn began a romantic relationship while minors.  When Madison was three months pregnant, they broke up.  Madison gave birth to Allyson in November  2006.  In 2012,  Madison moved to  Arkansas and gave custody of Allyson to her parents.  Flynn never had anything to do with the child.  In 2014, though, he filed a petition for paternity and custody.  While Flynn was determined to be the father, the court found that Flynn had deserted the child and awarded custody to the Blands.  Flynn appealed and loses.

Jerry Darnell  v. State of Mississippi – aggravated assault – Darnell was convicted of aggravated assault on his baby-momma’s new boyfriend (he shot him) and sentenced of twenty years  with fifteen  to serve and five years suspended.  He argues sufficiency of the evidence issues and that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to preserve his sufficiency issues.  The COA finds no merit in these issues.  They also find his argument that his sentence was excessive unavailing.

Martha Murrell v. Jeanette Brown and Willie Coleman – subdivision protective covenant –  In December 11, 2012, Jeanette Brown and Willie Coleman1 filed a complaint against their next-door neighbor, Martha Murrell, for constructing a fence in violation of their subdivision’s protective covenants.  The chancellor ordered  Murrell  to remove the fence and to pay $5000 in damages for mutilating the plaintiffs’ tree.  She appeals. “Although we find no abuse of discretion in awarding damages for the mutilation of the tree, we do find that the damage award was excessive in light of the evidence. Therefore, we reverse  and remand for another hearing on the damages issue consistent with this opinion.”

And in Claudia Joan Hill Renfro v. John Malcolm Renfro, the Court strikes the appellant’s initial and reply briefs and gives her 20 days to  “refile her briefs, which shall contain language rephrased in a manner that is not disrespectful to the trial court. Within thirty days of the entry of this order, the appellant’s attorney shall file a response showing cause why he should not be sanctioned.”  So that everyone will know what not to do, below are links to the briefs.

Renfro brief

Renfro reply

Renfro order


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