Before Sullivan, P.j., McRAE And Smith, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Smith, Justice, For The Court:
THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-A
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/04/96
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM F. COLEMAN
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ED PETERS
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST CONVICTION RELIEF
Jethro Jones was convicted of robbery in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County. Following his conviction, Jones was sentenced as an habitual offender to serve fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
On July 7, 1995, Jones filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the First Judicial District of the Hinds County Circuit Court. In his petition, Jones alleged that he should be granted a new trial in light of asserted newly discovered evidence involving the recantation of the testimony of the robbery victim. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied all relief requested by Jones. Jones now appeals to this Court from the denial of his petition.
In 1985, Jethro Jones was convicted of the crime of robbery in the First Judicial District of the Circuit Court of Hinds County and sentenced by the circuit court as an habitual offender to serve a fifteen year term in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. On October 12, 1992, the robbery victim, Judy Spates, came forward and gave an affidavit stating that the police had coerced her into identifying Jones in a voice identification lineup and that she was not certain of the identity of Jones as the one who robbed her. On October 30, 1992, Spates added to her affidavit of October 12, 1992 that she had not been robbed but instead had voluntarily given the money under the auspices of an attempt to purchase some marijuana.
In light of Spates' affidavits, this Court, on November 15, 1994, issued an order granting Jones' Application for Leave to File Petition for Post-Conviction Collateral Relief. Then on July 7, 1995, Jones filed his Petition for Post-Conviction Relief in the Hinds County Circuit Court. In his petition, Jones contended that he should be granted a new trial in light of the alleged newly discovered evidence of Spates' affidavits admitting that she lied when she identified Jones as the man who robbed her. Jones alleged that this evidence constituted new evidence that was not reasonably discoverable prior to, during, or subsequent to the trial and, thus, a new trial was warranted.
On May 16, 1996, an evidentiary hearing was conducted by the Honorable William F. Coleman in the Hinds County Circuit Court. After testimony at the evidentiary hearing, the trial court concluded that Spates' original testimony, her October 12th affidavit, and her October 30th affidavit made her testimony at the evidentiary hearing unreliable due to the several inconsistencies discovered by the trial court. As a ...