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Wheater v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 17, 2015

BILLY WHEATER A/K/A BILLY NEAL WHEATER A/K/A BILLY N. WHEATER, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/20/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT P. CHAMBERLIN. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DENIED MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

BILLY WHEATER, APPELLANT, Pro se.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BARBARA BYRD.

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

OPINION

Page 616

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

ISHEE, J.

¶1. In 2000, Billy Wheater was convicted in the DeSoto County Circuit Court of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with six months to serve, and nineteen years and six months of post-release supervision (PRS). He was also ordered to pay $6,025.33 in restitution. After he was released in 2001, Wheater was ordered to pay monthly installments toward his restitution as a condition of his PRS. Ten years later, the circuit court found that Wheater had only paid $800 of his restitution and had willingly failed to make scheduled payments, despite assistance from the court. Accordingly, his PRS was revoked. Aggrieved, Wheater now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

¶2. This case stems from a fist fight involving multiple parties, including Wheater, in DeSoto County, Mississippi. At some point during the fight, Wheater picked up a four-bar tire iron and hit another man over the head with it. The man suffered from a fractured skull and was sent to an intensive-care unit for some time. Although he fully recovered, the man incurred over $6,000 in medical bills.

¶3. In November 2000, Wheater pleaded guilty to aggravated assault following the incident. After a lengthy discussion with Wheater, his attorney, the State's

Page 617

attorney, and the victim, the circuit judge sentenced Wheater to twenty years, with six months to serve in custody followed by nineteen years and six months of PRS. The purpose of the sentence was to create a better opportunity for Wheater to repay the victim for his medical bills by working outside of a prison. During the sentencing hearing, Wheater testified that he worked in sales at a flea market and would be able to make monthly payments upon his release from jail. The circuit judge ordered Wheater to pay $200 a month in restitution beginning sixty days after his release from prison. The circuit judge specifically asked Wheater if he understood that the monthly payments were required to be made without fail or he would be sent back to prison. Wheater acknowledged and accepted the terms and the consequences of the ordered restitution.

¶4. After serving six months in prison, Wheater was released on PRS. The record reflects that in September 2001 and July 2002, the State filed respective motions requesting that Wheater's PRS be revoked for his failure to make restitution payments. The first motion, filed in 2001, was denied after Wheater promised the circuit court that he would make timely payments. When Wheater again failed to make payments, the circuit court conducted a hearing regarding the second motion. There, Wheater and his mother testified that the failure to make payments was due to family problems and illnesses. However, Wheater and his mother promised to become current on ...


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