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Ford v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 10, 2013

Tyderius FORD a/k/a Tydrius Ford, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 326

Tyderius Ford, appellant, pro se.

Office of the Attorney General by Lisa Lynn Blount, attorney for appellee.

Before IRVING, P.J., CARLTON and JAMES, JJ.

CARLTON, J., for the Court:

¶ 1. Tyderius Ford appeals the Washington County Circuit Court's denial of his motion for post-conviction relief (PCR). Ford argues that the trial judge erred in failing to recuse himself from ruling on Ford's PCR motion. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 2. On November 4, 1997, a jury before the Washington County Circuit Court found Ford guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Ford received consecutive sentences of five years for the conspiracy conviction, forty years for the armed-robbery conviction, and three years for the possession-of-a-weapon conviction. In 1999, this Court affirmed Ford's convictions. See Ford v. State, 753 So.2d 489, 492 (¶¶ 17-18) (Miss.Ct.App.1999).

¶ 3. On March 3, 2010, after receiving permission from the Mississippi Supreme Court, Ford filed a PCR motion seeking a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. The alleged newly discovered evidence consisted of two affidavits from Ford's codefendant, Robert McCullough, wherein McCullough purportedly recanted his trial testimony implicating Ford. The trial judge set Ford's case for a July 2010 evidentiary hearing. When McCullough failed to appear at the hearing, even though subpoenaed, the trial judge continued the hearing in order for McCullough to be located and brought before the trial court.

Page 327

¶ 4. On June 17, 2011, Ford filed a motion for recusal of the trial judge. By order dated June 29, 2011, the trial judge denied Ford's motion for recusal. The trial judge thereafter granted Ford's motion for appointed counsel and ordered a Washington County public defender to represent him in his PCR matter.

¶ 5. The trial court later set a second hearing for March 2012.[1] Once again, McCullough failed to appear. Following the hearing, the trial judge granted a motion for an indefinite continuance until such a time that McCullough could be located and brought before the court.

¶ 6. Then, in April 2012, Ford filed a rebuttal to the State's response to his PCR motion. The trial judge considered Ford's rebuttal as a withdrawal of his request for an indefinite continuance. On July 26, 2012, the trial judge denied Ford's PCR motion after determining Ford was not entitled to a new trial. Aggrieved, Ford appeals.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶ 7. This Court will not reverse a trial judge's denial of a PCR motion " absent a finding that the trial judge's decision to deny the motion was clearly erroneous." Johnson v. State, 70 So.3d 262, 263 (¶ 4) (Miss.Ct.App.2011). " However, when reviewing ...


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