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O'Halloran v. State

January 14, 1999

WILLIAM JOSEPH O'HALLORAN
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



Before Prather, C.j., Banks And McRAE, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McRAE, Justice,

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/13/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JERRY OWEN TERRY, SR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED-1/14/99

¶1. At issue is William Joseph O'Halloran's appeal of his conviction for the February 1994 murder of Kenneth Ray Tolbert. O'Halloran argues several items of error in the handling of his case, all of which are without merit. We affirm.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶2. On October 13, 1994, William Joseph O'Halloran was indicted by the grand jury of Harrison County for the murder of Kenneth Ray Tolbert on or about February 24, 1994. O'Halloran pled not guilty and a July 10, 1995, trial was set on January 13, 1995. O'Halloran was originally represented solely by Joseph P. Gautier, but, on May 17, 1995, Donald Smith was added as Co-Counsel. Several continuances were sought by and granted to counsel Smith. A suppression hearing was held March 11, 1996. On March 13, the jury found O'Halloran guilty of murder. O'Halloran was sentenced to life imprisonment in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. O'Halloran's Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict or in the Alternative a Motion for a New Trial, which was filed April 16, 1996, was taken under advisement and subsequently denied June 13, 1997.

¶3. Approximately April 14, 1997, O'Halloran filed a complaint against attorney Smith with the Mississippi State Bar Association. On May 9, Smith sought and received leave to withdraw as O'Halloran's counsel citing conflict of interest due to the complaint and relative Bar action. O'Halloran filed a Notice of Appeal on July 2, challenging his conviction of guilt and the denial of the Motion for New Trial. On appeal, O'Halloran claims:

I. APPELLANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL;

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT DENIED THE APPELLANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS HIS STATEMENT;

III. INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE EXISTS FROM WHICH REASONABLE JURORS COULD HAVE FOUND THE APPELLANT GUILTY OF THE CHARGE OF MURDER;

IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GRANTING THE MOTION FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT OR IN THE ...


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