JEFFREY LANCE HILL A/K/A JEFFREY L. HILL A/K/A JEFF HILL A/K/A JEFFREY HILL A/K/A JEFFREY SCOTT HILL APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
of Judgment: 05/05/2015
FROM WHICH APPEALED: OKTIBBEHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LEE
SORRELS COLEMAN TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
ERIN E. PRIDGEN.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LEE, C.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.
A jury in the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court found Jeffrey
Hill guilty of possession of a firearm on educational
property in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section
97-37-17 (Rev. 2014). Hill was a student at Mississippi State
University and a resident of the Aiken Village student
apartment complex at the time of the offense. He was
convicted of possessing a firearm in his apartment at Aiken
Village. The court sentenced Hill to three years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC).
Hill was then released immediately based on credit for time
Hill's conviction follows his third trial on the charge.
Hill's first trial ended in a mistrial because of a hung
jury. In Hill's second trial, the jury found him guilty,
but the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the conviction
after concluding that the trial court's rulings requiring
appointed counsel to remain as advisory counsel despite a
conflict of interest violated Hill's right to counsel.
Hill v. State, 134 So.3d 721, 729-30 (¶35)
(Miss. 2014). On remand, Hill was tried and convicted again.
Hill's appointed counsel in the present appeal filed a
"Lindsey brief, " certifying that she has
examined the record thoroughly and identified no arguable
issues to raise on appeal. See Lindsey v. State, 939
So.2d 743 (Miss. 2005). Hill subsequently filed a pro se
brief alleging numerous errors. Having made our own
independent and thorough review of the record, we find that
Hill's arguments are without merit and that there are no
other issues that warrant reversal. Accordingly, we affirm
Hill's conviction and sentence.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Relevant facts and procedural history related to Hill's
first two trials were recounted in the majority opinion and
concurring opinion in Hill's prior appeal to the
Mississippi Supreme Court:
In September 2010, the Mississippi State University Police
Department received a report that Hill possibly was in
possession of a firearm at Aiken Village Apartments on the
campus of Mississippi State University. The department sent
Detective Steve Westbrook and two other officers to
investigate the report. When the officers arrived at
Hill's apartment, Hill's roommate allowed them to
enter. Once the officers were inside, Hill entered the room
and spoke with the officers. Out of concern for officer
safety, Westbrook asked Hill if there were any weapons in his
bedroom, and Hill responded that he had a rifle in his
closet. Westbrook and Hill retrieved the weapon together.
Hill was then arrested for having a firearm on campus
property. Hill told the officers that he had no other
firearms, but that he . . . had ammunition in his vehicle.
Hill, 134 So.3d at 722 (¶4).
Hill's first court-appointed attorney [(Mark Williamson)]
was allowed to withdraw after Hill had filed a bar complaint
and accused [Williamson] of attempting to
"sabotage" his case. [Stephanie] Mallette was
appointed in [Williamson's] stead, and Hill continued to
file various pro se motions and letters, as he had from the
beginning of the case. The first trial was set for January
31, 2012, and on January 9, 2012, [Hill] filed several
documents with the circuit court, including a letter
indicating that he was "firing" his attorney. In
the letter, Hill made numerous accusations against Mallette,
alleging, among other things, that she had filed motions on
his behalf without his consent, that she had refused to
interview his witnesses, and that she had allegedly accused
him of murdering two men. . . . Hill wrote, "I will not
be seeking another public defender. I choose to seek my own
On January 25, 2012, Mallette requested that she be allowed
to withdraw and that Hill be permitted to obtain his own
counsel. Her motion cited a personal conflict of interest
based on the letter's accusations and Hill's having
filed a complaint against her with the Mississippi Bar. The
trial court granted Mallette's motion in an "Order
Allowing Withdrawal." The order noted that there had
been a hearing on the matter and announced that Mallette
"is withdrawn from her representation of Hill."
Yet, the very next sentence read, "Stephanie Mallette is