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Pittman v. City of Starkville

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 25, 2014

DAVID CAMP PITTMAN A/K/A DAVID PITTMAN A/K/A DAVID C. PITTMAN, APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/22/2013.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: OKTIBBEHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LEE J. HOWARD. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, FIRST OFFENSE, AND SENTENCED TO FORTY-EIGHT HOURS SUSPENDED IN THE CUSTODY OF OKTIBBEHA COUNTY AND TO PAY A FINE OF $750.

FOR APPELLANT: RODNEY A. RAY.

FOR APPELLEE: CAROLINE CRAWLEY MOORE.

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

OPINION

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - MISDEMEANOR

ISHEE, J.

¶1. In the Starkville Municipal Court, David Pittman entered a plea of no contest on January 13, 2013, to driving under the influence (DUI), first offense. He was found guilty by the municipal court, and subsequently appealed his conviction to the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court. Following a de novo trial, the circuit court also found Pittman guilty of DUI, first offense, and sentenced him to forty-eight hours in the county jail and ordered him to pay a fine of $750. Pittman now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. On September 7, 2012, Officer Derrick Nelson of the Starkville Police Department was performing his regular patrol on South Nash Street in Starkville, Mississippi. Just after midnight, he observed a vehicle positioned halfway in the street and halfway on the curb. He immediately pulled over to investigate.

¶3. Upon closer inspection, Officer Nelson noticed several garbage cans strewn about the adjacent yard. Based on the position of the vehicle, he believed that the garbage cans had just been hit by the vehicle. Officer Nelson made contact with Pittman and observed Pittman sitting in the driver's seat with the key still in the ignition. Officer Nelson believed Pittman was very impaired by some kind of substance due to Pittman's behavior and the smell of intoxicating substances, including both alcohol and marijuana.

¶4. Officer Nelson proceeded to help Pittman exit the car. According to Officer Nelson, Pittman was very off balance, staggering, and struggling to hold himself up on the car. Officer Nelson opened the tailgate on the vehicle to allow Pittman to sit down. Pittman informed Officer Nelson that he lived at the house, but several witnesses nearby denied this statement and, instead, asserted that Pittman had run into the garbage cans and into the yard. Officer Nelson attempted to ask Pittman what had happened, but stated that Pittman was so intoxicated that he was unable to hold a conversation. Officer Nelson then called Officer Brooke Manigold Carpenter, a DUI officer with the

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Starkville Police Department, for ...


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