Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PERCY BURNS v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

OCTOBER 05, 1983

PERCY BURNS
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE BROOM, P.J., ROY NOBLE LEE AND BOWLING, JJ., AND SUGG, RETIRED JUSTICE

SUGG, RETIRED JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT: *fn1

Appellant was convicted in the Circuit Court of Monroe County for possession of marijuana with intent to transfer or distribute it and was sentenced to serve a term of

twenty years imprisonment and fined $10,000.

 STATEMENT OF FACTS

 On October 7, 1981, John C. Robinson, Jr., a deputy sheriff of Monroe County, was on duty in the sheriff's office. He observed appellant walk away from one of the cell windows of the women's section of the jail, enter his car, and leave. When appellant did not come by the office to request permission to see any person in jail or to inquire about visiting hours, the deputy became suspicious and unsuccessfully attempted to stop appellant. As appellant drove away he obtained a description of the automobile and the license plate number. The deputy then checked the number of the license plate through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and received information it was stolen. He notified all the units of the sheriff's office by radio that the license plate was reported as stolen, and gave the number of the license plate and a description of the automobile.

 J. C. Robinson, Sr., another deputy sheriff, received the radio message, saw the automobile in question and stopped it. The officer asked appellant for his drivers license and the registration of the automobile. Appellant gave him a registration that did not correspond with the license plate on the car so the officer advised appellant that the plate had been reported stolen. Appellant replied that he had found the license plate and put it on the automobile. The officer then asked appellant to follow him to the sheriff's office to see if they could get the matter straightened out. Upon arrival at the sheriff's office appellant gave an explanation about the license plate. One of the officers then checked the vehicle identification number (VIN) through the NCIC computer and received information that the automobile was stolen.

 The two Robinsons, father and son, then conducted a search of the autombile. They opened the trunk of the automobile with a key which they found in the glove compartment. They opened a brown grocery sack which was in the trunk of the automobile in which they found 107 handrolled cigarettes and 32 plastic bags containing a green leafy substance later identified as marijuana. Inside the passenger compartment of the car the officers found a pair of sunglasses, a pick-type plastic comb and a map. They also found a couple of bags containing men's clothing and one empty suitcase in the trunk of the automobile. Following the search of the automobile Officer Robinson, Jr. placed appellant under arrest, read him his Miranda rights, and had him sign a waiver. Appellant was arrested on the charge of possession of more than one ounce of marijuana.

 Appellant testified that he borrowed the car on October 4 from Ola Hanley in St. Louis. He testified that he did not have any luggage with him, that he had not looked in the trunk of the automobile, and did not know that marijuana was in the automobile. He stated that when the police stopped him he followed the officer to the sheriff's office," to get the license plate straight. "On cross-examination the following questions and answers were given:

 Q. Now, Ola Hanley apparently didn't like the idea of you going off from St. Louis with her car, did she?

 A. No, sir, I don't believe so.

 Q. You sort of figured what she had done, hadn't you?

 A. I had an idea.

 Q. And what is that idea that you had?

 A. That I messed up when I took her car.

 Appellant also testified that he had previously pled guilty to armed robbery and burglary. Appellant testified that he was working at Jones Shell as a mechanic on Monday through Friday of each week and said he left St. Louis on Saturday but did not report for work on the following Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. He was asked if he didn't" bring this stuff down here "to make a little more money than he could make on the job. His response was" When I seen that that was when they brought it out of the office. "

 Officer Robinson, Jr. testified, that after he received information from the NCIC computer that the car had been reported as stolen, he took custody of the car. He was then asked the following question:" Now, when a car is taken into custody, is it a normal and customary procedure to make an inventory of the vehicle for the safekeeping of the valuables contained therein? "The question was objected to as leading but the objection was overruled. Officer Robinson then answered," Yes, sir, "and related the details of the search resulting in finding the marijuana.

 ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

 Under the first three assignments of error appellant argues that the marijuana should not have been admitted into evidence because, (1) it was seized as a result of an illegal

 arrest, (2) it was seized as the product of custodial questioning when he had received no Miranda warnings, and (3) the inventory search exceeded the limits of any allowable inventory.

 The state's response to appellant's argument is that he had no standing to object to the search of the automobile because it was stolen. After the state's witness had testified about the information received from the NCIC computer without objection, the marijuana was offered in evidence. Appellant objected, and his objection was overruled. In overruling the objection, the trial judge stated,

 More particularly to this case, however, is the fact that the information known to the officer of the sheriff's department was that the vehicle was, in fact, stolen and therefore it would appear that this defendant had no legitimate expectations of any right to the privacy of the vehicle, especially the rear compartment of it, for the simple reason it did not belong to him . . .

 Initially, we note that the automatic standing rule announced in Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 80 S. Ct. 725, 4 L.Ed.2d 697 (1960), was abolished and Jones was expressly overruled in United States v. Salvucci, 448 U.S. 83, 100 S. Ct. 2547, 65 L.Ed.2d 619 (1980).

 In Slyter v. State, 246 Miss. 402, 149 So. 2d 489 (1963), this Court held that evidence seized from the search of a stolen automobile is admissible in evidence, and stated:

 The appellant next argues that the court erred in admitting the testimony of Sam Ivy regarding the search and inspection of the automobile and in admitting in evidence the samples of hair and blood recovered therefrom. He further argues that the court erred in permitting evidence that the automobile was stolen. Here the appellant objects to the search on the ground that the officers did not have a warrant, therefore, the testimony showing the automobile was a stolen car was admissible for the reason that appellant could not complain of the search of the car. This Court has held in many instances that for one to be in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.