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Kuffner v. State

June 30, 1998

KUFFNER
v.
STATE



Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herring, J., For The Court:

THOMAS KUFFNER A/K/A THOMAS L. KUFFNER, 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: 12/02/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. BILLY JOE LANDRUM

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: JONES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

BY: LESLIE S. LEE

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JEANNENE T. PACIFIC

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF GRAND LARCENY; SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN MDOC, SUSPENDED; PLACED ON PROBATION FOR FIVE YEARS; ORDERED TO PAY COURT COSTS AND RESTITUTION

This appeal follows Kuffner's conviction in the Circuit Court of Jones County, Mississippi, for the theft of three registered hunting dogs. Kuffner asserts that the trial court erred in refusing to grant an instruction on circumstantial evidence and that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. We affirm.

A. THE FACTS

On the evening of March 21, 1995, Greg Windham, a resident of Jones County, Mississippi, returned home from a brief out-of-town trip to find that three of his six rabbit-hunting beagles were missing from their pen. Windham was an avid rabbit hunter and used beagles in his hunting endeavors. He also had bought and raised beagles through the years. The three missing dogs which had been trained to hunt exclusively for rabbits, were supplied to Windham in the past at different times by Thomas Kuffner, who traded them to Windham in exchange for money and for membership in a hunting club. Windham noticed that the latch on the dogs' pen was missing and he suspected foul play. He immediately notified law enforcement officers, but the dogs were not found. Taking matters into his own hands, Windham placed an advertisement in a hunting magazine describing the missing dogs and the possible theft. Windham heard from an unidentified source that the dogs may have been sold to three men from Louisiana, and the advertisement contained this information. The advertisement also offered a $500 reward for the return of the dogs and stated the following:

Dog's Stolen

Reward Offered

On March the 20th, 3 female beagles were stolen from my pen. On March the 21st they were sold to 3 men from Louisiana. These 3 men meet [sic] at Rawdy's Grocery store in the Sharon Community-they then went to Wayne County to try the dog's. Any info. on these 3 dogs would be appreciated.

Hound that were stolen

1 Female , old time bluetick, born Aug. 20, 1992, 10" tall, ...


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