Decisions – MSSC – 3/8/18

Craig D. Sallie  v. State of Mississippiresentencing after appeal – In 2012, Craig D. Sallie was convicted of aggravated assault and of being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm. The trial court  sentenced him to  twenty years for the aggravated-assault conviction and ten years for being a felon in possession of a firearm, with the sentences to run concurrently. The circuit court went on to enhance Sallie’s sentence by ten years for his use of a deadly weapon in the commission of the aggravated assault. The ten-year enhancement was ordered to run consecutively to the other sentences.  In other words, Sallie would do 30 years.  The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Sallie’s initial two convictions but reversed the ten-year enhancement. On remand, the  court  resentenced Sallie to twenty years for the aggravated-assault conviction and ten years for being a felon in possession of a firearm but ordered them to run  consecutively. So he was again sentenced to 30 years.  Sallie appeals. The COA affirms. The Miss.S.Ct. granted cert and it, too, affirms finding that there was no error in the court’s restructuring the sentences to so that Sallie would still serve 30 years.

Joey Montrell Chandler  v. State of Mississippi–  Miller resentencing – In 2005,  17-year-old  Chandler was convicted for the murder of his cousin Emmitt Chandler and sentenced to life in prison.  In 2015, the Miss.S.Ct. granted him a new sentencing haring in light of Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). Following a hearing, the circuit court again sentenced Chandler to life in prison. Chandler appealed arguing that he should be resentenced because the trial court failed to analyze all the factors identified in Miller and adopted in the subsequent decision in Parker v. State, 119 So. 3d 987 (Miss. 2013). The Miss.S.Ct. affirms.

Here, after consideration of all the Miller factors, the trial court had the authority to sentence Chandler to life in prison or life in prison with eligibility for parole notwithstanding  present provisions of the applicable parole statute. Thus, the trial court acted within its authority by sentencing Chandler to life in prison “under current Mississippi law.”

 

William Donald Collins, Sr., Mary Skinner Collins, William Donald Collins, II, Colt Makai Collins and Lisa Marie Collins v. City of Newton, Mayor David Carr, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Mayor of the City of Newton, Clarence Parks, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Fire Chief for the City of Newton, Joel Skinner, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Former Fire Chief for the City of Newton, Murray Weems, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Alderman for the City of Newton, and Ronnie Johnson, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Alderman for the City of Newton –  Tort Claims Act/negligent firefighting –  William was a volunteer firefighter with the City of Newton Fire Department for more than thirty years. Most of his family were firefighters and his three sons were full-time, paid firefighters with the Fire Department.  In 2009, the  firefighters voted that Donnie Collins be their chief over the then-current Chief Bounds. Donnie ended up being made  assistant chief .   In 2012, sons  Donnie and Colt and daughter-in-law Lisa were fired  from the Newton Fire Department.  In July 2012,  Donald’s and Mary’s home was struck by lightning, caught fire, and burned. The home was a total loss. No one was injured. The Collinses sued for wrongful termination and for negligence claiming that they were wrongfully fired and that when the Newton Fire Department showed up to fight the house fire, they did so negligently and allowed the house to be destroyed.  The trial court granted summary judgment for the Defendants. The Miss.S.Ct. affirms.

 

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