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Williams v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 7, 2017

JERAMI WILLIAMS A/K/A JERAMI WARDELL WILLIAMS A/K/A JERAMI W. WILLIAMS A/K/A JERAMY WARDELL WILLIAMS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/20/2014

         ADAMS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. FORREST A. JOHNSON JR. TRIAL JUDGE

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

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: RONNIE LEE HARPER

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. An Adams County jury convicted Jerami Williams of burglary of a dwelling, and the Adams County Circuit Court sentenced Jerami as a habitual offender to serve twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). See Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015). Jerami now appeals his conviction and sentence and asserts that his trial counsel was ineffective, thus violating his constitutional right to a fair trial. We decline to address the merits of Jerami's ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim on direct appeal in this case, and we accordingly affirm the trial court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On July 8, 2013, Christopher Williams awoke around approximately 1:30 a.m. to discover two men kicking in one of the doors to the home he shared with his father. Christopher testified that he recognized both men: Travon Williams, who lived in Christopher's neighborhood, and another man, who he recognized as a former coworker of his father. Christopher did not know the man's name at the time. Christopher testified that the two men entered the house, unaware of his presence. Christopher then left the house unnoticed and walked down the street to his cousin's house to call the police.

         ¶3. Christopher stated that the police arrived ten minutes later, and he then returned to his house where he witnessed police officers enter his home and walk out with Travon Williams. While standing outside of his house, Christopher observed a green Mitsubishi automobile drive past the house, and he alerted the police about the vehicle. Christopher testified that he could not see inside of the vehicle due to the tinted glass.

         ¶4. Christopher provided a statement to the police officers. They showed Christopher a photo lineup, where Christopher identified Jerami as the other burglar whose name he did not know. At trial, Christopher identified Jerami as one of the men he witnessed breaking into his house.

         ¶5. Officer Paulesha McBride of the Natchez Police Department responded to the call regarding the burglary on July 8, 2013. Officer McBride testified that she and several other officers entered Christopher's home and encountered Travon hiding in a closet. As a result of questioning Travon, the officers discovered the identity of the second man suspected of breaking into the house: Jerami. Officer McBride further testified that based on information provided by Travon, the officers began looking for a green two-door car.

         ¶6. Officer McBride stated that while en route back to the police station, she observed an unattended green automobile parked at an Exxon gas station which fit the description of the vehicle described by Travon. Officer ...


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