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LARRY BROWN v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

FEBRUARY 05, 1986

LARRY BROWN
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE WALKER, P.J.; HAWKINS AND ROBERTSON, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

On the evening of November 18, 1984, the business premises of Gaddis Industrial Farms, Inc. in Forest, Mississippi, were burglarized. On February 28, 1985, Larry Brown, Defendant below and Appellant here, was formally charged with this burglary in an indictment returned by the Scott County Grand Jury. The indictment further charged that Brown was a recidivist within the meaning of Miss. Code Ann. 99-19-81 (Supp.1985). Brown entered a plea of not guilty to

 all charges.

 On March 13, 1985, this case was called for trial in the Circuit Court of Scott County. That afternoon, after hearing all of the evidence and receiving the instructions of the court and the arguments of counsel, the jury found Brown guilty on the principal charge of burglary. Miss. Code Ann. 97-17-33 (1972).

 Immediately thereafter, the Circuit Court conducted a non-jury hearing on the recidivism issue. Without contradiction, the evidence established that Larry Brown had, prior to that date, been convicted of three separate felonies, grand larceny on two occasions and uttering forgery on a third. According, under the authority of Section 99-19-81, the Circuit Court sentenced Brown to serve a term of seven (7) years within the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections without eligibility for probation or parole.

 From this conviction and sentence, Brown appeals. We affirm.

 II.

 The evidence against Brown is convincing. In the course of their investigation following the burglary, Forest police authorities discovered that several Gaddis checks were missing. Notice was given to concerns in the community where the burglar might attempt to pass any such check.

 On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 21, a man subsequently identified as Brown entered Bradley's Discount in Forest and attempted to pass one of the checks.

 Luvelle Culpepper, a Bradley's store clerk, refused to cash the check as he had been previously advised that several Gaddis checks had been stolen. He immediately called the Forest Police Department and provided a description of the person who attempted to cash the check. He subsequently identified Brown as the person who presented the check.

 Thereafter, Vaughn Hollis, Chief of Police of the City of Forest, came to the scene, observed Brown at the rear of Bradley's, approached him, watched him wad something up with his hand and throw it in the ditch. Chief Hollis then detained Brown and retrieved the item which had been thrown in the ditch which happened to be a Gaddis check.

 Subsequently, Larry Brown was arrested and gave a written confession as follows:

 On Friday night, November 16, 1984, about 8:30 p.m. James Johnson and myself broke into Gaddis Office Building on Front Street in the City of Forest. We broke the window on the back side of the building and went inside. We took checks (6) of them, and then we left. On Wednesday, November 1, 1984, I tried to cash one of the checks at Bradley's Discount Food on Highway 35 in Forest. ...


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