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Strickland v. Darby

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 1, 2014

MARION STRICKLAND, APPELLANT
v.
DENNIS DARBY, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PANOLA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/20/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES MCCLURE III. TRIAL COURT DENIED PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.

FOR APPELLANT: RANDOLPH WALKER.

FOR APPELLEE: JAMES STEPHEN HALE JR.

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

OPINION

Page 235

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

IRVING, P.J.

¶1. This appeal arises from the Panola County Circuit Court's denial of Marion Strickland's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, seeking a reduction in bail originally set bye the Panola County Justice Court. At the time that he filed his petition, Strickland was imprisoned in the Panola County jail under the supervision and control of Dennis Darby, Sheriff of Panola County, Mississippi. Strickland alleges that the circuit court erred in denying his petition because the amount of bail and the restrictions on his release are both unreasonable and excessive. Finding no error with the circuit court's judgment, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. Strickland was arrested and charged with enticing a child pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-5-33(7) (Supp. 2013). The charge against Strickland emerges from Strickland's requesting and receiving a picture of a fourteen-year-old student's erect penis. The Panola County Justice Court originally set Strickland's bail at $500,000, but later reduced it to $100,000 and placed the following restrictions on his release from jail: (1) 3 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew at Strickland's

Page 236

legal address; (2) no use of electronic devices capable of receiving or sending text messages; (3) no use of electronic devices capable of receiving or sending e-mails; and (4) no use of electronic devices capable of receiving or sending visual images, with the exception of televisions. Strickland filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the circuit court, alleging that the amount of the bail and the restrictions on his release were a violation of his right to reasonable bail.

¶3. The circuit court held a hearing on the petition. Strickland's father, Marion Brown, testified that the Strickland family raised money to contribute to Strickland's bail, but could only afford the bail fee for a bail between $10,000 and $20,000. He also stated that Strickland had no resources that Strickland could use to contribute toward the bail amount and that Strickland would be staying with Strickland's mother if he was able to make bail. Brown further testified that if the court released Strickland on bail, he would make sure that Strickland appeared in court as scheduled.

¶4. Special Agent Tim Douglas, with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, testified that Strickland, a high-school teacher, used his position to contact underage students and ask them for sexually suggestive photographs. More specifically, Strickland would convince some of the young male students that he would use the photographs to " set them up with a female." Special Agent Douglas also testified that Strickland admitted that he had requested the photograph from the student. Additionally, Special Agent Douglas stated that Strickland had engaged in this type of conduct before. According to Special Agent Douglas, Strickland had used the same method of ...


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