Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Sept. 21. 2017

Brandy Nicole Williams  v. State of Mississippiaiding and abetting – Williams was convicted of the capital murder of Sheriff Garry Welford and sentenced to life without parole.  Williams had been dating Christopher Baxter. In 2010 Baxter pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth and was facing jail time. On the day of Baxter’s sentencing, he failed to appear.  Two days later, Williams drove Baxter around to do some errands but were spotted by law enforcement who gave chase.  It ended when  Williams ran over Sheriff Welford killing him.  On appeal, Williams claims her indictment should have been quashed because it failed to specify deliberate design.  The Court finds that it has consistently held that deliberate design is not a necessary element in the killing of a police officer.  She argues that she should have been given a duress instruction.  Williams knew before she agreed to drive Baxter that he was on the lam.  She claims that it was error to give the jury aiding and abetting instructions that would allow the jury to find her guilty whether or not she was driving.   She failed to object at trial and, indeed, she introduced part of the instruction of which she now complains.  The Court affirms.

 

Demario Walker v. State of Mississippi – parole violation – Demario is a con man who finds it impossible to conform his behavior so that he doesn’t violate the law. He was on probation from various charges when his parole offer sought to revoke him for failure to meet with his parole officer, failure to pay fees and fines, etc.  The court revoked his probation and ordered he serve the remaining part of his five-year sentence.  Demario filed a pcr and lost.  He appealed. The COA affirmed the revocation but finds that the revocation was for technical violations and, thus, the court was limited to revoking him for 90 days as per statute.  The Miss.S.Ct. grants cert and affirms the revocation but finds that the three technical violations are sufficient to warrant the revocations of the five years left in Demario’s sentence.

The Mississippi Bar v. John H. Cleggbar discipline – Clegg is licensed in Louisiana and Mississippi.  The Louisiana Court suspended Clegg from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day, with all but six months of the suspension deferred on the condition that Clegg provide written confirmation that he has executed a recovery agreement with the Louisiana Bar Association’s Lawyers Assistance prior to being reinstated.  The Mississippi Supreme Court imposes the same discipline.

 

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