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Triplett v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 19, 2014

ROBERT W. TRIPLETT A/K/A ROBERT WARREN TRIPLETT, JR. A/K/A ROBERT TRIPLETT, JR. A/K/A ROBERT TRIPLETT, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/05/2012.

LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. LEE SORRELS COLEMAN, TRIAL JUDGE.

FOR APPELLANT: ROBERT SNEED LAHER.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY STEPHANIE BRELAND WOOD.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: FORREST ALLGOOD

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

OPINION

Page 1257

ISHEE, J.:

¶1. On September 5, 2012, in the Lowndes County Circuit Court, Robert W. Triplett was found guilty of one count of exploitation of a child and was sentenced, as a habitual offender, to forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). He was also ordered to pay a fine of $50,000. Triplett appeals.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. On September 18, 2009, Triplett contacted the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department to report that his stepdaughter was missing. After six days of investigation, a search warrant was issued for Triplett's home in an effort to obtain evidence to assist with the search for the stepdaughter. Several computers and other electronics, including a HP Pavillion 9000 computer, were removed from Triplett's home and taken to the local crime lab.

¶3. Shortly after, Triplett contacted the sheriff's department inquiring about when the computers would be returned, specifically referencing the HP Pavillion 9000 computer. A mirror image of the HP Pavillion 9000 computer was created by the crime lab, and the computer was then returned to Triplett. Subsequently, the crime lab informed the sheriff's department that images of child pornography had been found on the HP Pavillion 9000 computer. The sheriff's department then asked Triplett to return the computer to them.

¶4. Afterwards, Tony Perkins, an investigator with the sheriff's department, and Clay Baines, an investigator with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, interviewed Triplett and obtained his statement. Triplett was then arrested and charged with exploitation of a child. A bench trial was held on September 4, 2012, and Triplett was found guilty of exploitation of a child.

¶5. Prior to the trial, a motion was filed with the circuit court to amend the indictment and charge Triplett as a habitual offender. The motion to amend the indictment provided the ...


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