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Dees v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 29, 2013

MICHAEL WAYNE DEES A/K/A WAYNE DEES A/K/A MICHAEL DEWAYNE DEES A/K/A MICHAEL W. DEES, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/30/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT P. CHAMBERLIN. TRIAL COURT CONVICTED OF POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE AND SENTENCED AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER TO EIGHT YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WITHOUT ELIGIBILITY FOR PAROLE OR PROBATION.

FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, BY: BENJAMIN ALLEN SUBER.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: LISA L. BLOUNT.

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

OPINION

Page 1060

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

ISHEE, J.

¶1. In March 2012, Michael Dees was convicted in the Desoto County Circuit Court of possession of morphine in an amount less than ten grams but more than two grams. Due to his prior convictions, he was sentenced as a habitual offender. He is currently serving an eight-year sentence in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), without eligibility for early release or a reduction in his sentence. Aggrieved by the circuit court's denial of his motion for a new trial, he appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

¶2. On the morning of July 15, 2011, Dees and his brother, Steven, were pulled over in Southaven, Mississippi, by Southaven Police Officer Roy Hurst. Officer Hurst testified that the Southaven Police Department had received a complaint alleging a vehicle fitting Dees's vehicle's description was being driven recklessly. Officer Hurst then spotted Dees's vehicle, with Steven at the wheel and Dees in the passenger's seat. Officer Hurst testified that because Steven was not wearing a seat belt, he initiated a traffic stop.

¶3. As he approached the vehicle, Officer Hurst noticed excessive movement from both Steven and Dees. He also noticed that both men were sweating profusely. After informing the men why he had pulled them over, Office Hurst asked for Steven's driver's license and proof of insurance. Steven did not have either.

¶4. Officer Hurst then requested that both men exit the vehicle. Noticing that the men were still engaging in nervous behavior, he asked if he could search the vehicle. Steven consented to the search. However, prior to searching the vehicle,

Page 1061

Officer Hurst did a safety pat down of the men. At that time, he discovered a syringe containing residue he suspected was narcotic residue in Dees's pocket. He then searched the vehicle and discovered a pill bottle wedged into the back seat cushions. Officer Hurst removed the bottle from the vehicle. When Dees saw Officer Hurst with the bottle, he stated that the pills and the bottle were his. The bottle contained eight assorted pills. Officer Hurst identified several of the pills as Schedule II narcotics, and quickly notified his superior officer. Detective Lance Shepard, a narcotics ...


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