Decisions – MSSC – 5/2/2019

Hand down list

Andre Antonio Fairley v. State of Mississippi –  404(b), etc. – Andre Fairley was convicted  for one count of possessing two or more grams, but less than ten grams of cocaine with intent to distribute, and one count of possessing more than thirty grams, but less than one kilogram, of synthetic cannabinoid, with intent to distribute. He was arrested after a traffic stop when he ran a stop sign.  An officer asked him twice whether he had guns and/or drugs in the vehicle. Fairley responded both times that there were no guns. The officer asked for an was given consent to search the vehicle whereupon the drugs were discovered.  Fairley was interviewed and admitted that the drugs were his.  The interview was conducted by two officers who both testified.  A tape recording of the interview was accidentally taped over.  Fairley wanted an agreement that he would be released if he named his suppliers. When told that there were no guarantees, he stopped talking. At trial, Fairley represented himself and insisted that the he had been set up because he refused to cooperate. On appeal he argues that the trial court erred in admitting 404(b) evidence of a 1994 conviction of possession with intent to distribute, that he should have been granted a mistrial when an agent let slip that Fairley was an habitual,  etc. The MSSC affirms.

Matthew Blake Courtney v. State of Mississippistatute of limitations/ speedy trial – Courtney was convicted of one count of sexual battery.  It happened at a party. Courtney was accused of raping a 15 year old who drank too much and passed out in a camper.  Her boyfriend who was also 15 left the camper to urinate. When he tried to get back in, someone was holding the door shut.  The next day the boyfriend contacted his girlfriend’s sister who took her sister straight to the hospital where she was placed in a medically induced coma.  There were indications that she had been raped and a rape kit was performed. Stains in her jeans were consistent with several of the partygoers including Courtney.  On the day of the crime Courtney had been 17 for two weeks.  A petition was filed in youth court and a year later the case was transferred to circuit court. On appeal he argues that his prosecution was barred by the two-year statute of limitations. “Courtney argues that, because he was not arrested for sexual battery until July 8, 2015, a date two years and eight months after the crime on November 2, 2012, the State was barred from prosecuting him.”  The Court finds that Courtney waived this issue by not raising it below. He also argues that his right to a speedy trial was violated. The MSSC affirms.

The Court grants an interlocutory appeal in Victoria Morton v. Reericka Belk and Tracey J. Crayton.  This is a car wreck case where a 6 person jury found for the defendant. Thereafter the trial court granted a motion for new trial based on the credibility of the witnesses.  Here’s the petition.

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