OF JUDGMENT: 05/09/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LAMAR PICKARD, TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: ROBERT FRED LINGOLD JR. HADLEY
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, WILSON
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.
In 2013, Kevin Williams was found guilty of failing to
register as a sex offender. This Court later reversed his
conviction based on an insufficient indictment. See
Williams v. State, 169 So.3d 932, 933 (¶1) (Miss.
Ct. App. 2014). Williams then requested compensation under
the Mississippi Wrongful Conviction Act. See Miss.
Code Ann. §§ 11-44-1 to -15 (Rev. 2012). At the
close of trial, the circuit court held that Williams had
failed to meet the statute's requirements and ruled in
favor of the State. Finding no error, we affirm.
On August 1, 2008, Williams was indicted for sexual battery
of a fourteen-year-old female child by a Hinds County grand
jury. He pled guilty to one count of sexual battery and was
sentenced to serve twenty years, with nineteen years and
three months suspended. As a result of his guilty plea,
Williams was required to register as a sex offender with the
Mississippi Department of Public Safety. See Miss.
Code Ann. § 45-33-25 (Rev. 2015). When Williams
registered, he listed an address in Crystal Springs,
Mississippi, as his primary residential address. Officer Greg
Farrell was assigned as Williams's probation officer.
On September 10, 2012, Officer Farrell went to the address
provided. Williams, 169 So.3d at 934 (¶4).
Williams was not there. Id. Following his visit,
Officer Farrell completed a violation report, forwarded it to
Williams's county of conviction, and notified Copiah
County Sheriff's Department Investigator Tommy Roberts.
Investigator Roberts went to the address to determine whether
Williams was living there and whether he was in violation of
his registration duties as a convicted sex offender.
Id. at (¶5). He spoke with Williams's
brother, Chris, who said that Williams did not live there.
Id. Investigator Roberts testified that he first
went to the home on September 4, 2012, and again on September
18, 2012. Id.
On September 18, 2012, Williams was arrested for failure to
register as a sex offender. He was detained in the Copiah
County Detention Center on December 26, 2012, and convicted
on March 12, 2013. This Court reversed his conviction in July
2014, and Williams was released a few weeks later.
"A circuit court judge sitting without a jury is
afforded the same deference as a chancellor." City
of Jackson v. Lewis, 153 So.3d 689, 693 (¶4) (Miss.
2014) (quoting City of Jackson v. Sandifer, 107
So.3d 978, 983 (¶16) (Miss. 2013)). An appellate court
will not disturb "a circuit court's findings
following a bench trial unless the findings 'are
manifestly wrong [or] clearly erroneous, or an erroneous
legal standard was applied.'" Id. (quoting
Sandifer, 107 So.3d at 983 (¶16)). Further,
those "findings 'are safe on appeal where they are
supported by ...