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Humbles v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 24, 2017

SIDNEY HUMBLES A/K/A SIDNEY KAREEM HUMBLES A/K/A SIDNEY K. HUMBLES APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/21/2015

         HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL HON. JEFF WEILL SR. JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: TOM KESLER

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ.

          LEE, C.J.

         ¶1. In this appeal we must decide: (1) whether the trial court erred when it denied Sidney Humbles's motion to sever Count IV from Counts I-III; (2) whether the trial court erred when it declined to dismiss the indictment due to an alleged speedy-trial violation; and (3) whether Counts II and III of the indictment were fatally defective.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On September 18, 2011, a man assaulted and robbed Mina Paul at Fairway Grocery, a convenience store owned by Mina and located in Jackson, Mississippi. Mina testified that she recognized the man as both a customer and the "donut man" who had been selling donuts in front of her store for approximately a month. Mina stated that on a previous occasion she had bought a donut from the man, though she did not on this particular day. Mina testified that on the day of the robbery, the man attempted to sell donuts outside of Mina's store for some time prior to entering the store, jumping over the counter, assaulting Mina, and robbing her of $400.

         ¶3. On September 20, 2011, two days later, about half a mile from Mina's store, a man rang the doorbell of Paul and Melvern Mickell's home and offered to sell Melvern some donuts. According to Melvern, when she declined, the man forced his way into the home, pushing Melvern down. Melvern yelled out for her husband, Paul, who testified that he heard something hit the floor and Melvern yelling. He then jumped out of bed, grabbed his gun, and went to check on Melvern. When Paul saw the man, he began shooting. At some point, the man took Paul's gun and pointed it at Melvern, threatening to shoot her. The man demanded money and pointed the gun at Paul, who led him down the hallway to the bedroom to get Melvern's purse. In order to dispatch the police, Paul pressed an alert button in his bedroom and then gave the man the purse. Once he realized the police had been called, the man left the Mickells' home, taking with him the gun and the purse. Police later recovered Melvern's purse, which was missing a twenty-dollar bill and a silver dollar. Paul's handgun was recovered across the street from the home.

         ¶4. Felix Hodge, an officer with the Jackson Police Department, investigated the robberies at Fairway Grocery and the Mickells' home. Paul informed Officer Hodge that he may have shot the man who robbed them. Officers searched local hospitals for a male patient with a gunshot wound and located Humbles at University Medical Center. Officer Hodge testified that both Mina and the Mickells stated they had been robbed by a "donut man, " and all selected Humbles from a photo lineup. Officer Hodge then interviewed Humbles and inquired about the two robberies. Humbles admitted, in separate statements, to having committed both of the robberies. Humbles was subsequently arrested.

         ¶5. On October 19, 2011, Humbles's parole was revoked, and he was taken into the custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections to serve the suspended portion of his prior sentence. Humbles was then indicted in December 2011. The indictment charged Humbles with the following: Count I, armed robbery committed on September 20, 2011, against the Mickells; Count II, felon in possession of a firearm; Count III, simple assault against Melvern; and Count IV, robbery committed on September 18, 2011, against Mina. On January 18, 2012, Humbles filed a motion demanding a speedy trial. He was served with his indictment on June 19, 2014, and arraigned on September 15, 2014. Humbles's trial began April 7, 2015.

         ¶6. During pretrial motions, Humbles moved to sever Count IV from Counts I, II, and III. Humbles also moved to dismiss the charges for speedy-trial violations. Both motions were denied by the trial court. At trial, Humbles was convicted on all four counts and sentenced to three life sentences as ...


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