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ALBERT BALL v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

SEPTEMBER 14, 1983

ALBERT BALL
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE PATTERSON, C.J., BOWLING AND ROBERTSON, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

Albert Ball, seeking clarification of his sentence, presents two questions: First, when on the same day and as a part of the same occurrence, a person assaults three police officers, may he be subjected to three separate charges of assault? *fn1 Second, under such circumstances, may the accused be given three separate prison sentences which run consecutively? We answer each question in the affirmative and uphold the Circuit Court's order dismissing Ball's petition.

 II.

 On August 19, 1982, the Grand Jury of Lowndes County returned three separate indictments against Albert Ball. In Case No. 7534, it was charged that on May 5, 1982, Ball committed a simple assault upon Doug Johnson, a law enforcement officer of Lowndes County, Mississippi. Next, in Case No. 7535, it was charged that on the same day, May 5, 1982, Ball committed a simple assault upon Carlton Howard, an officer of the City of Columbus Police Department. Finally, in Case No. 7536, it was charged that again on May 5, 1982, Ball committed a simple assault upon Don Bailey, another officer of the City of Columbus Police Department.

 Thereafter, on August 30, 1982, Ball appeared before the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi, and entered a plea of guilty to each of the three charges.

 In No. 7534, following his plea of guilty to the charge of assault on Officer Doug Johnson, Ball was sentenced to serve a term of four years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, "said sentence to run consecutively with the sentences imposed in Case Nos. 7535 and 7536" .

 In No. 7535, following his plea of guilty to the charge of assault on Officer Carlton Howard, Ball was sentenced to serve a term of four years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, "said sentence to run consecutively with the sentences imposed in Case Nos. 7534 and 7536" .

 In No. 7536, following his plea of guilty to the charge of assault on Officer Don Bailey, Ball was sentenced to serve a term of four years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, "said sentence to run consecutively with the sentences imposed in Case Nos. 7534 and 7535" .

 III.

 The courts of this state are open to persons incarcerated at the Mississippi State Penitentiary raising questions regarding the term or duration of their confinement. See, e.g., Hill v. State, 388 So. 2d 143, 146 (Miss. 1980); Watts v. Lucas, 394 So. 2d 903 (Miss. 1981); Davis v. State, 429 So. 2d 262, 263 (Miss. 1983); Segarra v. State, 430 So. 2d 408, 409 (Miss. 1983).

 Rule 8.07 of the Uniform Criminal Rules of Circuit Court Practice provides a procedural vehicle which may be invoked by prisoners presenting such issues. Albert Ball has properly invoked that procedure. The Circuit Court having denied him relief, the matter has been brought within this Court's appellate jurisdiction. Ball's appeal is ripe for decision.

 IV.

 Ball does not challenge the voluntariness nor the legality of his guilty pleas. Those pleas established for purposes of the present case that on May 5, 1982, Ball committed an assault on Officer Johnson, then committed an assault on Officer Howard, and finally committed an assault on Officer ...


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