Decisions – COA- Nov. 22, 2016

Marlon Little v. State of Mississippi – sufficiency of the evidence –  Little was convicted of armed robbery and felon in possession in the  October 31, 2013, robbery of nurse practitioner  Danny Ellis outside of his Port Gibson office.  On appeal he raises sufficiency of the evidence and he prevails! The only evidence against Little was the testimony of Ellis and  who told police he was robbed by a clean-shaven, stocky African American male in his mid-to-late twenties.  A tip led police to Little who is forty years old, tall and thin, with gold teeth, and normally wears a goatee.  Ellis picked him out of a lineup solely due to his distinct nasolabial folds.  Little’s photo was the only picture with distinct nasolabial folds.

We find, on the facts of this case, that the weight of the evidence preponderates heavily against the verdict where the sole substantive proof presented at trial was the testimony of the victim identifying the defendant, and the victim’s initial description of the attacker to the police was inconsistent with that identification. We therefore reverse and remand for a new trial.

Dale Patrick Miller v. Jessica Dawn Smith – custody –  When Dale and Jessica divorced, they had two children. The GAL recommended that Dale get custody but the judge awarded custody to Jessica in a detailed opinion.  The COA affirms.

Salathiel Presley and Larry Moorehead v. Ronald W. Stokes and Billy W. Heard – adverse possession – In 1985 the Cannon family heirs conveyed 60 acres to Presley and Moorehead.  Four parcels consisting of 13 acres were not conveyed.  In 2006 the heirs  conveyed a part of land to Stokes and Heard.  They conveyed part to Marcus and Susan Yates.  After the 2006 conveyance, a dispute arose over the boundary line.  Presley and Moorehead claimed they owned it through adverse possession. At trial Moorehead testified the property was open pasture and that he and Presley claimed ownership until Stokes and Heard claimed it in 2006. The chancellor found against Moorehead and Presley on the grounds that when they filed their petition in 2009, they  failed to name the defendants’ predecessors in interest.  The COA reverses and remands.

we agree with the parties here that the chancellor erroneously applied the relevant law when he only focused on the period of time that the Appellees held title to the real property at issue. See id. As the chancellor acknowledged, the Appellees had only owned the disputed property for about two years when the Appellants filed their petition and asserted their adverse-possession claim. Because a claim of adverse possession must be for a continuous and uninterrupted period of ten years, our inquiry into 7 the Appellants’ claim must also include the time period prior to the Appellees’ purchase of the property.

 

In the matter of One Hundred Thirty-Seven Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-Five Dollars ($137,325.00) In United States Currency and One (1) 2006 Ford 500 Bearing VIN #1FAFP24146G171666: Darryl Jerome Bobo, II v. State of Mississippi, Ex Rel. Pelahatchie Police Department – forfeiture –   In November 2012,  a Ford truck  with S.C. plates being driven by Parrish Norfleet was stopped for going three miles over the 70 mph limit.  The Richland officer noticed that the key in the ignition was a single key and there were numerous air fresheners in the truck.  The officer testified at trial that this was consistent with vehicles transporting contraband.  Norfleet told the officer he was a rapper traveling from California to Georgia to visit family.  The officer ran criminal history checks on Norfleet and the vehicle’s owner,  Darryl Bobo.  They both had prior convictions for narcotics.  The officers drug dog reacted and a search of the car revealed bundles of currency. Norfleet denied any knowledge of the money.  A forfeiture was filed and Bobo challenged it. After a trial, the court found the cash and vehicle to constitute the proceeds of drug trafficking or was intended to be used in the furtherance of drug trafficking. Bobo appeals claiming ineffective assistance and that the cash was found after an unlawfully extended traffic stop.  The COA affirms.

Chad G. Potts v. Catherine A. Potts – equitable division of the marital estate – Chad and Catherine were together for six years before they separated.  On appeal Chad claims the trial court incorrectly valued the marital home and land.  The COA affirms.

 

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