OF JUDGMENT: 02/16/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. LAMAR PICKARD.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ALEXANDER C. MARTIN.
GRIFFIS, P.J., CARLTON AND GREENLEE, JJ.
A Jefferson County jury convicted Rothell Chambliss of
burglary of a dwelling, and the trial court subsequently
sentenced Chambliss, as a habitual offender, to serve
twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (MDOC), without eligibility for
parole or probation. See Miss. Code Ann. §
99-19-81 (Rev. 2015).
Chambliss now appeals his conviction and sentence, asserting
the following assignments of error: (1) the trial court erred
when it denied his motion for a mistrial during voir dire,
and (2) the trial court violated the United States
Constitution's Confrontation Clause when it admitted
testimony regarding "known" fingerprints of
Chambliss. Finding no error, we affirm.
On August 29, 2015, Michael Dubois discovered that two
campers on his property in Fayette, Mississippi, had been
burglarized. Dubois observed that the campers had been broken
into and cameras on the property had been stolen. Dubois
purchased new cameras and installed them along the property.
When Dubois returned to the property on September 2, 2015, he
discovered that someone had again broken into the campers.
Dubois testified it appeared that someone entered the campers
through the storage compartments. Dubois observed that
televisions and other items had been removed from the
campers. Dubois watched the footage from the new cameras he
installed, and he pulled photographs of an individual walking
around the property. Dubois then reported the burglary to the
Jefferson County Sheriffs Deputy James Bailey investigated
the case and reviewed the photographs taken from the camera
on Dubois's property. Deputy Bailey testified that, while
reviewing the footage, he observed a black male, whom he
recognized as Chambliss, on Dubois's property. Deputy
Bailey then processed the scene and collected fingerprints,
which he subsequently sent to the Mississippi Crime
Laboratory for analysis.
Mike Hood, the forensic section chief of latent prints at the
Mississippi State Crime Laboratory, tested the latent prints
collected from the crime scene and concluded they matched the
"known prints" of Chambliss. Hood testified that he
obtained Chambliss's known prints from the Mississippi
criminal history system database.
On October 6, 2015, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted
Chambliss on one count of burglary of a dwelling in violation
of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-17-23 (Rev. 2014).
Chambliss's indictment reflected his status as a habitual
offender pursuant to section 99-19-81.
At a jury trial held on February 10, 2016, the jury heard
testimony from Dubois, Deputy Bailey, Hood, and Chambliss.
After the State rested its case-in-chief, Chambliss moved for
a directed verdict, which the trial court denied. The trial
court sentenced Chambliss as a habitual offender to
twenty-five years in MDOC's custody. Chambliss filed an
unsuccessful motion for a new ...