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Ainsworth v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 25, 2017

KENNETH RAY AINSWORTH A/K/A KENNETH AINSWORTH A/K/A KENNETH R. AINSWORTH APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/04/2016

         HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. LISA P. DODSON, Judge

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: KAYLYN HAVRILLA MCCLINTON

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. On May 26, 2015, a grand jury indicted Kenneth Ray Ainsworth for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-139(a)(1) (Rev. 2013). A jury convicted Ainsworth of the charge on May 4, 2016. Then, on May 11, 2016, the Harrison County Circuit Court, Second Judicial District, sentenced Ainsworth as a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015), with an enhanced penalty under Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-147 (Rev. 2013). The trial court ordered Ainsworth to serve twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole. On June 27, 2016, the trial court denied Ainsworth's motion for a new trial or an acquittal notwithstanding the verdict. Aggrieved by his conviction and sentence and the denial of his posttrial motion, Ainsworth timely appeals.

         ¶2. On appeal, Ainsworth raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in issuing a supplemental jury instruction; (2) whether the trial court erred in instructing the jury to continue deliberations in light of the jury's note indicating unanimous agreement as to a lesser-included charge; and (3) whether his attorney was ineffective for failing to object to the supplemental jury instruction.

         ¶3. Finding no error, we affirm Ainsworth's conviction and sentence.

         FACTS

         ¶4. Due to the nature of the claims Ainsworth raises, the underlying facts of his indictment for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute are not at issue in this appeal. Instead, the relevant facts of Ainsworth's appeal relate to a supplemental jury instruction the trial court issued in response to a note from the jury during the jury's deliberations.

         ¶5. Following closing arguments in Ainsworth's trial, the trial court excused the jury to begin deliberations. Over two hours later, the trial court ...


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