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JOHN ALBERT BOX v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

AUGUST 24, 1983

JOHN ALBERT BOX
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



EN BANC

HAWKINS, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

At dusk on the evening of July 27, 1981, Ms. Catherine B. Short was robbed at gunpoint in her home in Greenwood, Mississippi. In due course on October 16, 1981, John Albert Box, defendant below and appellant here, together with two others, Robyn Sabrina Russell and Timothy Ray Davis, were charged with armed robbery in a joint indictment returned by the Leflore County Grand Jury. Miss. Code Ann. 97-3-79 (1972). The proceedings against Box were severed from those against Russell *fn1 and Davis. *fn2

On March 17, 1982, this case was called for trial in the Circuit Court of Leflore County, Mississippi. After hearing all of the evidence and receiving the instructions of the court and the arguments of counsel, the jury on the following day found John Albert Box guilty of armed robbery. As a recidivist, Box was sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole.

 From this conviction and sentence, Box appeals. Because of the State's failure to comply with its obligations under Rule

 4.06 of Uniform Criminal Rules of Circuit Court Practice, we reverse.

 II.

 A.

 Shortly after indictment, defendant Box filed a written motion seeking discovery of nearly every aspect of the State's case. He properly invoked the provisions of Rule 4.06 which, in pertinent part, *fn3 provides as follows:

 The prosecution shall disclose to each defendant or to his attorney, and permit him to inspect, copy, test, and photograph upon request and without further order the following:

 (1) Names and addresses of all witnesses in chief proposed to be offered by the prosecution

 at trial; (2) Copy of any recorded statement of the defendants to any law enforcement officer.

 Upon a showing of materiality to the preparation of the defense, the court may require such other discovery to defense counsel as justice may require.

 Although under the rule it was not necessary, a hearing on Box's discovery motion was held November 19, 1981, some four months prior to the trial of this ...


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