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Blythe v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 15, 2013

RANDAL SCOTT BLYTHE A/K/A RANDLE SCOTT BLYTHE A/K/A RANDALL SCOTT BLYTHE A/K/A RANDAL S. BLYTHE, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

Page 408

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/14/2011. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. GERALD W. CHATHAM SR. TRIAL COURT CONVICTED OF BURGLARY OF A DWELLING AND SENTENCED AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER TO TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS WITHOUT ELIGIBILITY FOR PAROLE OR PROBATION, WITH THE SENTENCE TO RUN CONSECUTIVELY TO ANY SENTENCE CURRENTLY BEING SERVED AND CREDIT TO BE GIVEN FOR TIME SERVED.

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED.

FOR APPELLANT: STACEY ALAN SPRIGGS, JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: ELLIOTT GEORGE FLAGGS.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 409

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

BARNES, J.

¶1. Randal Blythe was convicted by a DeSoto County Circuit Court jury of burglary of a dwelling and was sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). The sentence was ordered to run consecutively to any other sentences being served, and he was to receive credit for time served. Blythe filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, alternatively, a motion for a new trial. The circuit court denied the motions, and Blythe now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

Page 410

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. On the night of October 23, 2008, Tom Caldwell and his family returned to their home in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and noticed a strange truck backed into their driveway. The truck was blocking the garage entrance, and its doors were open. The garage door was open, and the light was on. Caldwell recalled that when he left the house earlier, the garage door was only open " maybe a foot" for his pets to have ingress and egress; he was not sure if the pedestrian door to the garage was locked.

¶3. Caldwell saw two men exit the garage, get into the truck, and drive away. He called 911 and proceeded to follow the truck for several miles, until law enforcement eventually stopped the truck. The passenger in the truck was Blythe. During a pat-down search, police found a piece from a wire coathanger in the driver's pocket. The search of the truck also revealed potential burglary tools: wire pliers, screwdrivers, gloves, and two flashlights. Nothing was missing from Caldwell's home.

¶4. Blythe was indicted and charged for multiple counts: conspiracy, burglary, and possession of burglary tools. He was convicted of burglary of a dwelling on December 14, 2011. He was sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of the MDOC, with the sentence to run consecutively to any other sentences being served and with him to receive credit for time served. The other counts were dismissed.

¶5. Blythe promptly filed his post-trial motions on December 19, 2011. The circuit court denied his motions on January 5, 2012; however, the order was not entered until June 27, 2012. Blythe's counsel filed a notice of appeal on February 3, 2012, but the circuit clerk did not forward the notice of appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court until April 20, 2012. Blythe filed a motion for an out-of-time appeal on May 25, 2012, claiming that his attorney effectively abandoned his appeal and requesting that ...


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