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JACOB HENDERSON v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

FEBRUARY 08, 1984

JACOB HENDERSON
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE PATTERSON, PRATHER AND ROBERTSON

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

This case presents the question whether the rules of English grammar are a part of the positive law of this state. If they are, Jacob Henderson's burglary conviction must surely be reversed, for the indictment in which he has been charged would receive an" F "from every English teacher in the land.

 Though grammatically unintelligible, we find that the indictment is legally sufficient and affirm, knowing full well that our decision will receive of literate persons everywhere opprobrium as intense and widespread as it will be deserved.

 II.

 On May 15, 1982, the Maaco Paint Shop in Jackson, Mississippi, was burglarized. Jacob Henderson was arrested immediately thereafter, four items of stolen merchandise still in his possession.

 On July 6, 1982, Henderson was formally charged with business burglary in violation of Miss. Code Ann. 97-17-33 (1972) in an indictment returned by the Hinds County Grand Jury. The indictment further charged that Henderson was a recidivist within the meaning of Miss. Code Ann. 99-19-81 (Supp. 1983). Henderson entered a plea of not guilty to all charges.

 On February 9, 1983, this case was called for trial in the Circuit Court of Hinds County. In due course, the jury found Henderson guilty on the principal charge of burglary.

 Immediately thereafter, the circuit court conducted a non-jury hearing on the recidivism issue. Without contradiction, the evidence established that Jacob Henderson had, prior to that date, been convicted of two separate felonies, both

 burglaries. Accordingly, under the authority of Section 99-19-81 the circuit court sentenced Henderson to serve a term of seven years without eligibility for probation or parole.

 From this conviction and sentence, Henderson appeals.

 III.

 A.

 The primary issue presented on this appeal regards the legal adequacy of the indictment under which Henderson has been tried, convicted and sentenced. That indictment, in pertinent part, reads as follows:

 The Grand Jurors for the State of Mississippi, . . . upon their oaths present: That Jacob Henderson . . . on the 15th day of May, A.D., 1982.

 The store building there situated, the property of Metro Auto Painting, Inc., . . . in which store building was kept for sale or use valuable things, to-wit: goods, ware and merchandise unlawfully, feloniously and burglariously did break and enter, with intent the goods, wares and merchandise of said Metro Auto Painting then and there being in said store building unlawfully, feloniously and then and there being in said store building burglariously to take, steal and carry away; And One (1) Polaroid Land Camera, One (1) Realistic AM/FM Stereo Tuner One (1) Westminster AM/FM radio One (1) Metal Box and contents thereof, . . . the property of the said Metro Auto Painting then and there being in said store building did then and there ...


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