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Stokes v. State

March 10, 1998

STOKES
v.
STATE



Before Bridges, C.j., Coleman, And Diaz, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j

CARL LEE STOKES, APPELLANT v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND

MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/29/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. FORREST A. JOHNSON JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: ADAMS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: GRAND LARCENY (HABITUAL OFFENDER): SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 5 YRS IN THE MDOC, WITHOUT REDUCTION, SUSPENSION, OR ELIGIBILITY FOR PAROLE OR PROBATION

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 3/10/98

Carl Lee Stokes was indicted, tried, and convicted of the crime of grand larceny in the Adams County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to serve a term of five years as a habitual offender in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections without reduction, suspension, or eligibility for parole or probation. Aggrieved, Stokes argues (1) that the trial Judge should have recused himself, (2) that he was denied his statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy trial, (3) that he was denied his right to proceed pro Se, (4) that the court erred in considering his prior convictions for purposes of the habitual criminal statute, (5) that he was denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel, and (6) that he was denied his constitutional right to a fair trial due to biased jurors. Finding no merit to the issues raised, we affirm.

FACTS

On Monday, July 11, 1994, police responded to a call from Ms. Joan R. McDaniel, the director of the Adams County Health Department on Highway 61 North in Natchez, Mississippi. McDaniel reported that a television and VCR had been taken from the clinic-lab area sometime during the weekend. McDaniel testified that there was no forced entry, and that she began to question the employees who had access to the building. One employee questioned was Kim Simon, the cleaning lady. Simon cleans the building after hours and had seen the TV and VCR in the building on the prior Thursday, but not on Sunday. Simon testified that sometimes she hires people to help her with her cleaning business, and that the defendant, Carl Lee Stokes, had worked with her on occasion at the Adams County Health Department.

On Saturday, July 9, 1994, Stokes asked Simon if he could borrow her car for a few hours. Simon agreed; however, the car was not returned until the next morning. Simon testified that the keys to the Adams County Health Department were on her key ring that Stokes borrowed. When Simon went to the health department on Sunday, she noticed that the TV and VCR were ...


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