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Adams v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 24, 2017

ANDREW ACIE ADAMS A/K/A ANDREW ADAMS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/27/2015

         HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS JR.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: PHILLIP BROADHEAD.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ABBIE EASON KOONCE.

          BEFORE FAIR, P.J., WILSON AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          FAIR, P.J.

         ¶1. Andrew Acie Adams was spotted driving in Gulfport while there was a warrant out for his arrest. After pulling Adams over, the officers noticed a loaded magazine in the driver's side door. Adams's wife, who was in the passenger's seat, was found to have been sitting on a pistol, and a search of the vehicle's trunk revealed a .22-caliber rifle. Adams confessed to owning the rifle, but he claimed to know nothing of the pistol.

         ¶2. Adams was tried on two counts of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. After the State presented its case, the trial court directed a verdict of acquittal for possession of the pistol. Adams testified in his own defense that he had lied about his owning the rifle in order to protect his wife. The jury convicted him anyway, and he appeals.[1] We find no error and affirm.

         DISCUSSION

         1. Suppression of Confession

         ¶3. In his first issue on appeal, Adams contends that the Harrison County Circuit Court erred in not suppressing his confession. Adams alleges that the confession was induced by an officer falsely stating during the arrest that Adams's wife was a convicted felon who could not legally possess the rifle, so Adams claimed ownership of it to protect his wife.

         ¶4. It is apparent that this claim is procedurally barred because it was not raised in the trial court. Adams presented numerous pretrial motions, but none of them challenged the voluntariness of his confession. Instead, Adams sought to have parts of the arrest and interview recordings redacted to prevent the jury from being exposed to various prejudicial statements, relief that he was largely granted. While the trial judge did observe that Adams's confession was voluntary, the failure to make this argument and present any evidence in support procedurally bars this issue on appeal. See, e.g., Williams v. State, 994 So.2d 821, 828 (¶24) (Miss. Ct. App. 2008).

         ¶5. Moreover, this claim appears to have no evidentiary support in the record. Adams did testify (in his own defense, at trial) that he had falsely claimed to have owned the rifle to prevent his wife from being arrested. But on cross-examination, Adams admitted he knew his wife was not a convicted felon.[2] He claimed instead that he was worried she would be arrested for possession of a stolen firearm since she had previously been arrested for that offense, though not convicted. Adams said he was afraid the rifle was ...


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