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STATE OF MISSISSIPPI v. CATHY READ

MAY 03, 1989

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
v.
CATHY READ



BEFORE DAN LEE, P.J., SULLIVAN AND ANDERSON, JJ.

SULLIVAN, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Cathy Read petitioned the County Court of Rankin County on April 21, 1987, for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Following an evidentiary hearing, Judge James W. Smith, Jr., granted the petition, and issued an order on May 22, 1987, directing the Parole Board to immediately release Read from the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

The State of Mississippi appealed this order on June 5, 1987, pursuant to 99-39-25 (1) of the Mississippi Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act. When the Parole Board failed to take action, Read filed a Motion for Contempt on July 28, 1987. Following hearing on the Motion for Contempt on August 7, 1987, the County Court of Rankin County ordered Read released on $5,000.00 bail pending appeal of the original writ of habeas corpus.

 The case is now before this Court on appeal of the State, and the following issues are presented:

 1. Did the County Court of Rankin County have jurisdiction to entertain this cause;

 2. Did the lower court err in finding that the State of Florida lost jurisdiction of the petitioner; and

 3. Did the lower court err in ordering the Parole Board to grant the immediate release of petitioner.

 Cathy Read was convicted on June 4, 1981, in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi, of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. She was sentenced to serve ten (10) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Read promptly appealed this conviction to the Mississippi Supreme Court, and was released on bond during the pendency of this appeal.

 While out on her appeal bond, Read was arrested in Escambia County, Florida, for drug related charges on or about January 27, 1983. She remained incarcerated in Escambia County Jail without benefit of bail, and she subsequently entered a plea of nolo contendere to the charges and was sentenced on July 13, 1983, to serve a term of five (5) years in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections. This sentence was to run consecutively with Read's Mississippi sentence.

 Meanwhile, on March 23, 1983, Read's conviction was affirmed on direct appeal by the Mississippi Supreme Court. Read v. State, 430 So. 2d 832 (Miss. 1983)

 On or about July 29, 1983, while still in Escambia County Jail, Read was released to the custody of a bail bondsman by the name of George Hitt. Hitt obviously was liable on Read's appeal bond in Mississippi. Read was released without benefit of extradition or other hearing, and returned by Hitt to the Jackson County Detention Center. On this day, Read began serving her original ten year sentence in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

 Following her release from Escambia County, Florida, the State of Florida lodged a detainer against Read here in Mississippi. Subsequent to this time, on or about August 28, 1985, and on several occasions thereafter, Read was offered parole on the condition that she waive extradition to the State of Florida pursuant to that State's detainer. She refused each time to waive extradition and the offer of parole was accordingly withdrawn.

 Around February 13, 1986, the State of Florida instituted extradition proceedings with the State of Mississippi in regard to Read. However, Read's first notice of these proceedings was at the hearing below. The extent of these proceedings is not shown by either the briefs or record.

 Following her transfer to the Rankin County facility, Read petitioned for, and was granted, a writ of habeas corpus by the County Court of Rankin County on May 22, 1987. The State appealed, and in response to the Parole Board's failure to release Read, Read filed a motion for contempt. On August 7, 1987, the county court ordered Read released on $5,000.00 bail pending the State's appeal.

 Following this action, the State filed in this Court a Motion for emergency relief under Rule 32 on August 12, 1987, alleging in essence that the Rankin County Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the writ of habeas corpus because the petition was in reality a motion under the Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act. Thus, the State complained of extreme emergency in the ...


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