Decisions – COA – 3/20/18

Gary Wayne Stacks  v. State of Mississippi –  PRS  revocation – In 2007, Stacks pled guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine.  He was  sentenced to ten years with five years of post release supervision as well as a $5,000 fine and court costs.  In 2016 he completed his ten year sentence. About six months later, a warrant was issued for his arrest for multiple violations of the conditions of his PRS: he failed to report in July and August 2016, failed to pay his supervision fees, failed to pay his fine and court costs, twice tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, and failed to attend required drug and alcohol treatment.  AFter a hearing the court  sentenced him to serve his 5 years of  PRS in MDOC custody.  Stacks  filed a PCR motion challenging his revocation which was denied. Stacks appealed arguing  that  his entire sentence had expired before he was placed on PRS because the original sentencing order did not impose a suspended sentence to correspond with his five-year term of PRS.   The COA affirms.

We first pointed out that at Anderson’s original sentencing hearing, the judge clearly
informed him that “he faced up to possibly ten more years in [MDOC] custody” if he violated the conditions of his PRS, and “Anderson answered in the affirmative when asked if he understood.” Id. at (¶8). Second, we emphasized that Mississippi Code Annotated section 47-7-34 (Rev. 2015), which governs the imposition and termination of PRS, “contains no language that a suspended sentence must be given if the circuit court . . . wants to impose PRS” following a term in MDOC custody. Id. at 650 (¶9). Thus, we held that even if an offender’s original sentence does not expressly include a “suspended sentence,” if the offender subsequently violates the conditions of his PRS, the circuit court has the authority to terminate the offender’s PRS and recommit the offender to MDOC custody for all or part of the term of PRS. See id. at 650-51 (¶¶9-12). As a practical matter, Anderson treats a term of PRS as inclusive of an implied suspended sentence, even if the offender’s sentencing order does not expressly reference a suspended sentence.

Sanchez Duncan  v. State of Mississippi –   Lindsey brief – Duncan was convicted of possession of methamphetamine and felon in possession after a neighbor informed police of suspicious activity at a nearby house. On appeal, his appointed lawyer filed a Lindsey brief attesting that there were no issues for review.  Duncan filed his own brief arguing that the witnesses weren’t credible and that the evidence was insufficient. The COA affirms.

 

In the Matter of Dissolution of the Marriage of Karen Conway Lewis and Adam Isaac Lewis: Adam Isaac Lewis v. Karen Conway Lewis –   attorneys fees – Adam and Karen were married in 1989 and granted an ID divorce in 2002.  Adam agreed to pay Karen $15,000 a month as “permanent periodic alimony” payable until she remarried or he died.  Adam filed a motion to terminate  the alimony arguing that Karen was cohabiting or in a de facto marriage with her longtime boyfriend.  After a trial, the chancellor denied relief and  awarded Karen half of the attorney’s fees that she incurred defending the case.  Adam appealed. The COA affirms the dismissal of  Adam’s petition but reverses and renders with regard to attorneys fees  “because it is clear that Karen is financially
able to pay her own attorney.”

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