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McFarland v. State

March 18, 1999

LASHAWN MCFARLAND A/K/A LASHAWN D. MCFARLAND
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/04/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN B. TONEY

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

DISPOSITION: REVERSED AND REMANDED- 3/18/99

EN BANC.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. On January 22, 1996, the Grand Jury of Rankin County, Mississippi, indicted Lashawn McFarland for an armed robbery which occurred on October 30, 1995, at the Best Western motel in Pearl, Mississippi. McFarland was arrested for this charge on November 14, 1995, and arraigned on March 15, 1996.

¶2. At the time of arraignment, a trial date was set for July 18, 1996. However, on July 13, 1996, there was a joint agreed motion between court-appointed counsel and the State for a continuance and an agreed order of continuance which continued the case until October 31, 1996. On July 16, 1996, court-appointed counsel gave notice of an insanity defense.

¶3. However, on December 18, 1996, McFarland then retained another attorney, Jim Waide, to represent him. McFarland gave notice of an alibi defense on January 6, 1997, stating that on the date of the robbery, he was at work for Wackenhut Security. However, this alibi defense could not be verified because Wackenhut lost McFarland's work records during a company move in November 1996.

¶4. The trial was held on March 12-14, 1997, in Rankin County, Mississippi, Honorable John B. Toney, Circuit Judge, presiding. McFarland was found guilty of the crime of robbery with a deadly weapon by a jury on March 14, 1997. However, the jury was not able to agree on the appropriate sentence, and the trial Judge accordingly sentenced McFarland to serve a term of (10) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and to pay all court costs, fees, and assessments on or before the ninetieth (90th) day following release from custody.

¶5. Aggrieved by the trial court's judgment, McFarland appeals and raises the following issues:

I. THE COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING EVIDENCE OF OTHER ARMED ROBBERIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPEACHING MCFARLAND'S TESTIMONY THAT HE HAD NEVER POINTED A GUN AT ANYONE.

II. THE COURT VIOLATED MCFARLAND'S FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO BE FREE FROM DOUBLE JEOPARDY BY INTRODUCING EVIDENCE CONCERNING THE ROBBERY IN MADISON ...


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