TROYLANDEN CORTEZ HARRIS A/K/A TROYLANDEN C. HARRIS A/K/A TROYLANEN HARRIS A/K/A TROYLANDEN HARRIS A/K/A TROYLAND CORTEZ HARRIS APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 12/17/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. JEFF WEILL
SR. TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
HUNTER NOLAN AIKENS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
KATY TAYLOR GERBER
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ROBERT SHULER SMITH
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.
A Hinds County jury found Troylanden Harris guilty of
attempted armed carjacking; the Circuit Court of Hinds County
sentenced him to twenty-five years in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with twenty
years to serve, five years suspended, and five years of
supervised probation. Harris filed a motion for a judgment
notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative, a
new trial, which the court denied. Harris now appeals,
asserting the following issues: (1) the trial court erred in
admitting his written confession; (2) the trial court erred
in failing to instruct the jury on the essential elements of
the crime; (3) the trial court erred in refusing his request
for a lesser-included-offense instruction; and (4) he
received ineffective assistance of counsel. Because we find
plain error in the court's failure to properly instruct
the jury, we reverse and remand.
On January 14, 2013, Henry Judd and his girlfriend, Jasmine
Polly, were driving Judd's 2004 Nissan Titan to the end
of their driveway. Judd exited the Titan to move another car
that was blocking the driveway; he left Polly in the
passenger seat with the Titan still running. As he did so,
two men in a Mercury Mountaineer drove up alongside the
Titan. The driver of the Mountaineer stayed in the vehicle,
while Harris exited. With his face partially covered, Harris
opened the Titan's passenger door and demanded that Polly
get out. When Polly refused, Harris held a Glock .40-caliber
handgun to her leg, prompting Polly to exit the vehicle. Judd
saw the commotion and ran back toward the Titan. Judd pinned
Harris against the Mountaineer, causing the covering to fall
from Harris's face. Judd realized that he knew Harris.
Harris apologized to Judd and reentered the Mountaineer,
which quickly drove away.
Judd called the Jackson Police Department and Officer Lincoln
Lampkin was dispatched to the scene. Judd identified Harris
as the suspect to Officer Lampkin. Polly later picked Harris
out of a photo lineup.
On February 5, 2013, the Jackson Police Department responded
to a disturbance call for an unrelated incident. While
responding to the call, Officer Lampkin recognized Harris and
arrested him for the attempted armed carjacking from several
Detective Kenneth Dunn with the Jackson Police Department
interviewed Harris after his arrest. Harris signed a
waiver-of-rights form prior to being interviewed, thereby
waiving his rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona,
384 U.S. 436 (1966). At the bottom of the waiver form was a
typed segment, which reads as follows:
My name is Troylanden Harris . . . . I am here at police HQ
talking to Detective Kenneth Dunn[.] I have waived my rights
and will provide Detective Dunn with a statement.
Q. Did you attempt to carjack a [w]hite] [N]issan Titan?
Q. Did you pull a gun and put it up to the driver[']s
A. I didn't put it to her head[;] I had it down by the
seatbelt pointed down
and I told her to get out. She said[, ] "No." [A]t
that time "Henry was coming to the truck."
Q. Who is Henry?
A. A guy I grew up with[.]
Q. What did he say to you?
A. He called my name and we made eye contact[;] I said[, ]
"Henry[, ]" and that's when I said[, ]
"Henry it[']s over[.]" He said[, "O]k[;]
it[']s over[";] I told him I'm [through] with
it. When I left[, ] I went home[, ] and he called my
Q. Did Henry have a gun?
A. Umm hmm[.]
Q. Do you know what kind?
A. I wanna say a .32[.]
Q. When you pulled up to the truck did you know whose truck