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Benn v. State

June 30, 1998

BENN
v.
STATE



Before Thomas, P.j., Hinkebein, And Payne, JJ.

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

TONY R. BENN, 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: 01/07/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT LEWIS GIBBS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

BY: JEAN SMITH VAUGHAN

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: EDWARD J. PETERS

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: C/S POSS COCAINE W/I: SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 10 YRS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MDOC; 5 YRS SUSPENDED, 3 YRS SUPERVISED PROBATION & 5 YRS TO SERVE

Tony Benn was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and sentenced to a term of ten years with five years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and five years suspended with three of the five years being under supervised probation. Benn's motion for JNOV or, in the alternative, a new trial was denied. Finding that Benn's motion for JNOV should have been granted, we reverse and render.

FACTS

Detective Avaline Baggett, having received information that crack was being distributed out of the house located at 1710 Barrett Street in Jackson, Mississippi, obtained a search warrant for the house and coordinated a raid which took place on February 3, 1995. During the execution of the warrant, Benn along with Terrell Cox ran from the house. Cox was immediately apprehended at which time the officers recovered $1,816 from Cox's person. Benn was arrested several months later. Inside the house, the police officers found Terry Liddle. Marijuana was found on Liddle's person. The officers also found a partial joint of burning marijuana in a clip and a loaded Tech-9 millimeter gun lying on the couch. Further search of the inside of the house revealed drug paraphernalia, a plastic bag containing marijuana cigarettes, a loaded.25 caliber Larson pistol, and two television sets. A search of the outside of the house resulted in the recovery of a domino box containing eighteen bags of cocaine which was recovered from the east side of the house in one of the vents in the conventional foundation. Also discovered outside the house but on the premises was a glove containing thirteen bags of crack cocaine which was recovered from the top of an inoperable vehicle located in the front yard of the house. In the front yard near the inoperable vehicle was a black Volkswagon that contained a photo I.D. of Benn, school books with Benn's name on them, and traffic tickets made out to Benn. Further, the testimony indicated that before the police left the premises, two males came to the house and told a police officer that Tony Benn had sent them to get his black Volkswagon.

At trial, Detective Baggett testified that she was unable to verify ownership of the house and no record of ownership could be found as ...


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