SHARON SALLIE A/K/A SHARON JEAN SALLIE A/K/A SHARON PLAXICO SALLIE APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/11/2016
FROM WHICH APPEALED: TIPPAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ANDREW
K. HOWORTH TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
MOLLIE MARIE MCMILLIN.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD.
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.
Sharon Sallie was convicted of conspiring with her daughter,
Jessica Plaxico, and son-in-law, Ahmad Fryar, to obtain money
from Wilma Colom through false pretenses, and for actually
committing the crime of false pretenses. The circuit court
sentenced Sallie as a habitual offender under Mississippi
Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015), ordering that
she serve five years for her conspiracy conviction and ten
years for her false-pretenses conviction. The court further
ordered that the sentences run concurrently and that Sallie
pay restitution jointly and severally in the amount of $15,
518.25 (the total amount of money that Colom lost from the
Sallie claims, for the first time on appeal, that her
indictment in Count II was fatally flawed because it did not
contain specific facts surrounding the alleged crime. Finding
Sallie's indictment sufficient, we affirm the judgment of
the circuit court.
Colom owned a motel in Tiplersville, Mississippi. Plaxico and
Fryar were two of her tenants. Colom testified that Plaxico
often came to her with financial problems and that she was
not an "ideal tenant." The scam leading to
Sallie's conviction started when Plaxico told Colom that
a doctor left medical tools inside her body when she gave
birth to her child. Plaxico said she planned to sue the
doctor and claimed that she needed money for the lawsuit. She
promised that she would repay Colom once she had the money.
When Colom asked Sallie if Plaxico's story was true,
Sallie said that it was. Plaxico initially asked Colom to
send money through Moneygram in Sallie's name because she
was the only one with valid identification. Colom sent Sallie
$2, 160 in September 2012, and then two $50 money orders -
one in October 2012 and one in July 2013.
Colom kept giving money directly to Plaxico and Fryar until
she found out there was no lawsuit in Plaxico's name. She
testified that, although Sallie did stop telling her to send
money, Sallie never said the story was a scam. Sallie
testified that Colom kept sending Plaxico and Fryar money
even though she told her there was no pending lawsuit. Sallie
also denied ever conspiring with Plaxico and Fryar.
Sallie claims that Count II of the indictment was defective
because it lacked an essential element of the crime - the
specific nature of the false pretenses - and prevented her
from preparing an adequate defense. She further argues that
the indictment did not provide specific details protecting
her from double jeopardy.
"Challenges to the substantive sufficiency of an
indictment may not be waived and consequently may be raised
for the first time on appeal." Ross v. State,
954 So.2d 968, 1015 (¶126) (Miss. 2007) (citing
State v. Berryhill, 703 So.2d 250, 254 (¶16)
(Miss. 1997)). Since "a challenge to an indictment for
failure to charge the essential elements of a criminal
offense affects a fundamental right, " it ...