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Handford v. State

February 23, 1999

MADISON HANDFORD, JR. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



Before McMILLIN, P.j., Diaz, King, And Payne, JJ.

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/09/1993 TRIAL JUDGE: HON. MARCUS D. GORDON COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: SENTENCED TO FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF MDOC WITH FIRST TEN YEARS TO RUN CONSECUTIVELY TO ANY OTHER SENTENCE AND THE LAST FIVE TO RUN CONCURRENTLY WITH ANY OTHER SENTENCE

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 02/23/1999

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶1. Madison Handford, Jr., was indicted on one count for the delivery of cocaine and on a second count for the possession of cocaine with intent to sell. After a trial by jury, the defendant was found guilty of possession with intent to sell and sentenced by the trial Judge to fifteen years -- the first ten to run consecutively with Handford's previous conviction -- the remaining five years to run concurrently with the previous conviction. After denial of post-trial motions, a notice of appeal was timely filed.

FACTS

¶2. On May 29, 1991, Officer Faron Gardner and confidential informant (C.I.) Douglas Nichols orchestrated a cocaine purchase from Madison Handford. Prior to the purchase, Officer Gardner gave the C.I. five $10 dollar bills -- with the serial numbers recorded. The C.I. was fitted with an electronic transmitting device. Soon thereafter, the C.I. entered Handford's house and asked for some cocaine. Handford exchanged money for a "rock."

¶3. After the exchange, Officer Gardner met with the C.I. The two returned to a church where the officer retrieved the cocaine and the listening device. A search warrant was subsequently issued to the officer and executed on Handford's residence. The search recovered sixteen rocks of cocaine which were contained in a matchbox. Handford, who had left his residence prior to the search, was found and taken into custody a short time later. Found on Handford after his arrest were three $10 dollar bills with serial numbers matching those that the Officer Gardner had given the C.I. to employ in the sting operation.

¶4. Due to the confusion stemming from the defendant's previous conviction on similar grounds, similar cause numbers, and a new circuit clerk, the record was lost but subsequently found.

ISSUES PRESENTED

¶5. As a preliminary matter, the issues as presented, are taken directly from the appellant's brief.

I. WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED STACKING SENTENCE IN SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT CAUSE NUMBER 4352 CONSECUTIVE TO SENTENCE IN SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT CAUSE NUMBER 4351, DEFENDANT BEING AN ELDERLY, SICKLY MALE, THE TWO CONSECUTIVE TERMS BEING OVER 20 YEARS (THIRTEEN LESS THREE, PLUS FIFTEEN LESS FIVE), SAME BEING TANTAMOUNT TO A LIFE SENTENCE, AND BEING MANIFESTLY DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE CRIME CHARGED, AND CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT IN VIOLATION OF THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION.

¶6. The thrust of Handford's first argument centers on his age in comparison to the sentence imposed. Although Handford's age is not disclosed in the record, he argues that terms such as "middle age" and "sickly" necessarily conclude that twenty years is quite beyond his reasonable life expectancy. There is no proof of age in the record and no citation of authority in his brief to support his contention in regard to the sentence. Thus, we disagree with the argument Handford presents and find it difficult to rule in his favor on this issue.

ΒΆ7. Notwithstanding the fact that Handford has failed to place his age in the record, had Handford recorded his age in the trial transcripts, his argument may likely have claimed that the sentence imposed was ...


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