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Dobbs v. State

December 30, 1998

DANNY DOBBS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, Hinkebein, And King, JJ.

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: FEBRUARY 24, 1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HONORABLE C. E. MORGAN III

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: CHOCTAW COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DOUG EVANS

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT TO HOUSE BURGLARY: SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 3 YRS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MDOC, 2 YRS SUSPENDED, THE REMAINING 1 YEAR TO SERVE; PAY ALL COURT COSTS & ASSESSMENTS OF $225 & FINE $1,000

¶1. Danny Dobbs appeals to this Court from his conviction in the Circuit Court of Choctaw County, Mississippi, as an accessory after the fact to burglary of a dwelling. Dobbs challenges his conviction on the basis that the trial court erred in: (1) denying a motion to suppress a written statement; (2) unduly restricting cross-examination of a witness for the State; (3) refusing to grant his request for a new trial; (4) failing to give him an opportunity to examine the State's previously undisclosed evidence; and (5) denying his motion to quash the indictment. We find that these assignments of error are without merit, and therefore, we affirm.

A. THE FACTS

¶2. On October 16, 1996, Jerry Robinson approached his neighbor, Finesse Kimbrough, and inquired about the possibility of acquiring a puppy. After a brief Discussion, Kimbrough informed Robinson that the puppies belonged to another neighbor. Robinson then left the Kimbrough residence, and Kimbrough departed for the local store to run an errand for his elderly mother, who lived with him. As Kimbrough proceeded to the store, he noticed Robinson walking down the highway. Shortly thereafter, Kimbrough returned to his residence and discovered that someone had stolen his .22 rifle. Kimbrough notified the Choctaw County Sheriff's Office and questioned his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, about the disappearance of his rifle. Mrs. Kimbrough informed her son that a young boy stopped by the residence and asked for him. Sheriff Mike Hutchinson obtained a general description of the individual from Mrs. Kimbrough, and Mr. Kimbrough told the sheriff about his Discussion with Jerry Robinson earlier that morning.

¶3. The next day, the sheriff questioned Robinson, and Robinson admitted that he had returned to the Kimbrough residence, opened the door, and stolen the rifle. Robinson informed the sheriff that Danny Dobbs sawed the stock off the rifle and offered to help him sell the weapon. Thereafter, Robinson stated that he, along with Dobbs and another individual, carried the weapon to a store where Dobbs sold it to an individual named Charles Parrish. Sheriff Hutchinson then recovered the rifle from Parrish and obtained a statement from Dobbs, in which he admitted his involvement in the crime. Subsequently, Robinson was charged with burglary of a dwelling, and Dobbs was indicted as an accessory after the fact. Robinson was adjudicated as a delinquent child on the crimes of larceny and shoplifting. Following a trial, a jury in the Circuit Court of Choctaw County convicted Dobbs as accessory after the fact to burglary of a dwelling. He was sentenced to serve three years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with two years suspended and one year to serve and fine of $1,000.

B. THE ISSUES

¶4. Dobbs raises the following assignments of error which are taken verbatim from his brief:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN OVERRULING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS A STATEMENT WRITTEN IN THE HAND OF SHERIFF OF CHOCTAW COUNTY AND SIGNED BY THE DEFENDANT AS THE STATEMENT WAS NOT FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY GIVEN; THE STATEMENT WAS PRACTICALLY ILLEGIBLE AND THE TRIAL COURT DID NOT MAKE A FINDING ON THE RECORD THAT THE STATE HAD MET ITS BURDEN OF PROOF FOR ADMISSIBILITY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN UNDULY RESTRICTING CROSS EXAMINATION AND IMPEACHMENT OF THE SHERIFF WHO WAS THE PRIMARY WITNESS AGAINST THE DEFENDANT.

III. THE VERDICT OF THE JURY WAS AGAINST THE OVERWHELMING WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.

IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO GIVE THE DEFENDANT A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH UNDISCLOSED EVIDENCE WHICH WAS NOT PROVIDED TO THE DEFENDANT PURSUANT TO HIS DISCOVERY MOTION PRIOR TO TRIAL.

V. THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE SUSTAINED DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO QUASH THE INDICTMENT, OR DIRECT A VERDICT IN FAVOR OF THE DEFENDANT BECAUSE THE DEFENDANT DID NOT AID OR ASSIST A "FELON" WHO HAD COMMITTED A "FELONY" AS REQUIRED BY STATUTE, BUT RATHER, DID ...


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