Decisions – COA – Jan. 24, 2017

Bedford Care Center of Marion, LLC v. Cenither Nicholson – unemployment – In 2008, while working as certified nursing assistant at East Mississippi State Hospital, Nicholson pulled a muscle in her back while helping a patient who had fallen onto the floor.  The Hospital paid for Nicholson’s emergency-room visit and she missed two or three days of work. In September 2012, Nicholson was hired by Bedford Care.  After she was hired she filled out a form in which she denied having been injured on the job or receiving workers com.  A few months later, a routine audit revealed she had been treated for a work related injury while at EMSH.  Nicholson was fired.  She applied for unemployment benefits explaining that she did not realize what she was being asked on the form and she said “no” because she had never gotten a check because of a workers comp. claim.  She was denied benefits.  The circuit court reversed and held that she was eligible for benefits.  Bedford Care appeals and loses to Nicholson who represents herself on appeal.  The circuit court’s finding that she was entitled to benefits is affirmed.

Andrew Acie Adams  v. State of Mississippi – felon in possession –   Adams was spotted driving in Gulfport while there was a warrant out for his arrest. After pulling Adams over, officers found several  weapons.   Adams was tried on two counts of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. After the State presented its case, the trial court directed a verdict of acquittal for possession of the pistol. Adams testified in his own defense that he had lied about his owning the rifle in order to protect his wife. The jury convicted him and he appeals.  He claims that his confession that he owned the rifle should have been suppressed because it was induced by an officer falsely stating during the arrest that Adams’s wife was a convicted felon who could not legally possess the rifle.  The COA finds this issue is barred because it wasn’t raised at trial.  He next challenges the weight and sufficiency of the evidence. The COA affirms.

Suzann (Savage) Davis v. Charles Gregory Davis –  modification of child support – Suzann and Greg Davis were divorced in 2011.  They had  three children. At first Suzann did not ask for child support.  But in 2012 they  agreed that Greg would pay $1,850 a month in child support. In 2013 they agreed to let Greg have custody of their middle child and child support was lowered to  $1,000 per month.  In 2014, Greg was convicted of criminal charges of making a false representation with the intent to defraud the government and embezzlement. Suzann filed for contempt because of missed payments.  He counterclaimed for  modification   based on the fact that his eldest child  refused to have any relationship with him. Greg was ordered to pay  $564 per month. Suzann appeals andt the COA affirms.

Napoleon L. Cassibry, III, as Trustee of the N. L. Cassibry, Jr. Family Trust, Trustee of the Cassibry Children Irrevocable Trust, Trustee of the June C. Cassibry Irrevocable Trust, Power of Attorney for June C. Cassibry and Managing Partner of the Cassibry Brothers Partnership, Napoleon L. Cassibry, III, Individually and John C. Cassibry, Individually v. Graham W. Cassibry –  estate –  Graham Cassibry sued his brother  Napoleon Cassibry  for breach of fiduciary duty in Napoleon’s role as trustee for the three family trusts.  He also asked for an accounting, Napoleon’s  removal as Trustee, and the creation of a constructive trust.  Napoleon Cassibry, Jr., was the President of Cleveland State Bank.  When he died in 1998, most of his estate passed  to his wife June.  But the elder Cassibry also  created the N.L. Cassibry, Jr. Family Trust.   June was named the  the primary beneficiary of the Family Trust and  Napoleon Cassibry, III, a contingent beneficiary and the Trustee. His two younger two sons, John and Graham, were the other contingent beneficiaries.  Three trusts were set up. The trial court  found that Napoleon’s withdrawals and loans to himself from the Trusts constituted breaches of the duty of loyalty and found against him in the amount of  $144,865.86 in damages and $46,402.00 in attorneys’ fees and costs. Napoleon appealed.  The Court affirms on everything but the attorneys fees. “On review, we affirm the chancery court’s award of damages. However, as the attorney’s fees itemization was not properly admitted into the chancery court’s record, we reverse and remand for a hearing on the issue of attorney’s fees.”

Angela Ellis Davis v. Gary Sidney Davis – termination of parental rights – The Davises divorced in 2004 after having had two daughters.  In 2013, Angela filed a petition  to terminate Gary’s parental rights or, in the alternative, modifyGary’s custody/visitation rights and increase the amount of child support. She alleged that Gary had not exercised visitation with Kristin after an altercation with Gary’s current wife, Teresa Davis, in September 2011, or with Nicole since December 2012.  The chancellor denied relief but did  order Gary to pay the girls’  private-school tuition as long as both girls continued to visit Gary.  Angela appeals.  The COA affirms.

Sidney Humbles  v. State of Mississippi –  severance –  Humbles was charged with two robberies.  The first was  a September  2011, robbery of  Mina Paul at a  convenience store she owned in Jackson.   Mina told police that her assailant was a man who had been  selling donuts in front of her store for approximately a month.  Two days later, a man appeared at the home of  Paul and Melvern Mickell.  He offered to sell  Melvern some donuts. When she declined,  he  forced his way into the home.  He grabbed Melvern’s purse and fled when he realized the police had been summoned.  Humbles was convicted of both.  On appeal he argues that the trial of the two robberies should have been severed. The trial court had applied the factors set forth in Corley v. State, 584 So. 2d 769, 772 (Miss. 1991) and denied a severance.  The COA finds no abuse of discretion.  He also argues that his right to a speedy trial was violated and that the indictment was defective.  The COA affirms.

Karen Lynn Woods  v. State of Mississippi  –  motion to suppress confession – Woods was charged along with Randy Goodin for having burgled  the April 28, 2014, burglary of Betty Triplett’s home on April 28, 2014.  Triplett had left her home that day to take cover from a tornado. She came home to find a back window broken and jewelry, clothing, and guns, missing.  Woods was convicted.  On appeal she argues that her confession should have been suppressed because she was high. She also objects to an officer’s testimony that blood was found in the house because the officer never viewed the blood but only knew about it via the DNA analyst. The COA affirms.

Terrance Baker  v. State of Mississippi – voluntariness of plea – Baker was indicted as an habitual  for one count of sale of marijuana and one count of sale of hydrocodone.   He pleaded to the hydrocodone charge and was sentenced to 15 years.   Three years later he filed a pcr motion alleging that his plea was involuntary and his attorney ineffective. The trial court denied it without a hearing.  Baker appeals and the COA affirms with an opinion demonstrating how difficult it is to overturn a guilty plea.

Pro se PCR appeal affirmed:

Brian Williams  v. State of Mississippi

 

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