Decisions – COA – 9/4/2018

Hand down list

Willie D. Triplett v. State of Mississippi –   warrantless arrest – Triplett was convicted of burglarizing a church in Neshoba County. The arrest came about after a pawn shop owner called police to say that he was suspicious about a a man who had just tried to pawn a tiller.  The pawnshop owner gave police the tag number of the man’s vehicle which was traced back to a couple who admitted that there was a man, Triplett,  who stayed at  their house  from time to time fitting the description of the man who tried to pawn the tiller. Police obtained a warrant for the couple’s SUV and property. A search of the SUV revealed two Peavey speakers, a Peavey mixer, a wireless connector, a microphone, and a bag of cables. The owners of the SUV denied owning the items and police arrested Triplett.  A few days later, the pastor of a local church called police to report that the church had been broken into at some point in the last few days and that various items were missing including some speakers.  Triplett was interviewed in the jail and he confessed to burglarizing the church. On appeal he argues that the trial court should have suppressed his confession because he was arrested without a warrant. The COA affirms finding that Triplett never challenged his confession based on an allegedly illegal arrest and, thus, waived the issue.

Mathes Electric Supply Co., Inc. v. Can’t Be Beat Fence Company, LLC and International Fidelity Insurance Company –  claim on construction bond – In 2009 Bay St Louis entered into a contract with  Can’t Be Beat Fence Company LLC to construct a ballfield. CBB entered into a subcontract with Greg Williams Electric Co. Inc. to do the electrical work and  Mathes Electric Supply Co. Inc.  provided Williams with materials for the Project.  CBB paid Williams but  Williams never paid Mathes for the materials.   Mathes submitted a payment-bond claim to CBB and International Fidelity. The insurance company denied the claim. Mathes then  filed suit against Williams, CBB, and International Fidelity  requesting compensatory damages of $97,740.34.  CBB and International Fidelity  filed for  summary judgment on the grounds that  Mathes failed to provide any evidence that it gave proper notice pursuant to Sect.  31-5-51 which requires that the  contractor be given written notice within 90  days from the date on which the claimant did or performed the last of the labor or furnished or supplied the last of the material for which such claim is made.  The trial court granted it. The COA reverses and remands finding that Mathes’ evidence was sufficient to creata a material issue of fact whether proper notice was given.

Jarvis Brown v. State of Mississippisufficiency of the evidence –  Brown was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting into the back of Daniell Hampton’s SUV as Hampton was driving.  Hampton recognized the shooter and identified Brown at trial. Brown’s only witness was his girlfriend who told the jury that they were out of town and did not return to Tupelo until after the shooting.  On appeal Brown challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. The COA affirms.

Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans v. University of Mississippiconfederate monuments/mandamus  – In 2014, the SCV filed for an injunction against the University of Mississippi to prohibit it from moving, renaming or  recontexualizing confederate monuments. The circuit court ruled that the case was a mandamus action and not simply a case for injunctive relief, denied SCV’s motion, and granted UM’s motion to dismiss for lack of standing to bring a mandamus action. SCV appealed. The COA affirms.  “[W]e agree that SVC, despite its argument to the contrary and the nomenclature used, sought mandamus relief; as such, the circuit court was correct in dismissing the entire action.”

Barry D. Ware  v. State of Mississippi –  guilty plea –  Ware was charged with first degree murder in Attala County in 2012. He pleaded guilty in 2013. He later filed a pcr motion alleging that his plea was involuntary  because his trial counsel erroneously advised him that he would be eligible for both parole and trusty earned time if he pleaded guilty to second degree murder. Ware also claims that his attorney told him, erroneously,  that if he had gone to trial and been convicted of first degree murder, he would have to serve life without parole with no legal or procedural avenue to obtain any type of release at any time. The trial court denied relief after a hearing and Ware appealed. The COA affirms.  It is not necessary for a valid plea for the defendant to be informed of parole eligibility and given the inconsistencies in the testimony of the defendant’s witnesses, the trial court’s finding that he was not misinformed was not error.

Greg Massey, as Personal Representative and for and on Behalf of the Estate and Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Carol Massey, Deceased v. Oasis Health & Rehab of Yazoo City, LLC d/b/a Oasis Health & Rehab of Yazoo City and Coretta Carter –  arbitration – Carol Massey was admitted to Oasis Health and Rehab in March 2014. Both she and her husband Greg Massey signed an admission agreement and a
separate arbitration agreement.  Mrs. Massey died in August of 2014 and her husband sued Oasis which moved for arbitration. The trial court granted the motion and Massey appealed. The COA affirms.

Pro se PCR appeals affirmed:

Samuel Terrail Young Jr. v. State of Mississippi

Douglas Lee Tomlin  v. State of Mississippi