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Bias v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 7, 2017

JAKE BIAS A/K/A JAKE JEROME BIAS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/05/2016

         HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. TOMIE T. GREEN TRIAL JUDGE:

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CYNTHIA ANN STEWART

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BILLY L. GORE

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          IRVING, P. JUDGE.

         ¶1. Jake Bias pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Hinds County to statutory rape for willfully, feloniously, and unlawfully having sexual intercourse with J.B.[1] While incarcerated, Bias filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR), which was denied. Bias now appeals, asserting that (1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) his "confession" did not match the physical evidence; and (3) he was entitled to an evidentiary hearing.

         ¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶3. On November 1, 2010, Chasidy Butler took her three-year-old daughter, J.B., to the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), after noticing that J.B. was suffering from irregular vaginal discharge and frequent urination.[2] J.B. underwent a thorough medical evaluation and tested positive for chlamydia and gonorrhea. The medical records indicated that J.B. exhibited no tearing in the vaginal, perineal, or anal areas, and that her hymen was intact. A hospital social worker wrote on a report that J.B. had previously told her godmother that her father had "hurt her private area." J.B. was interviewed by the Child Advocacy Center, but its report was inconclusive as to whether she had been sexually abused.

         ¶4. On March 29, 2011, Bias pleaded guilty to statutory rape, pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-65(1)(b) (Rev. 2014). On March 30, 2011, the circuit court sentenced him to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with five years suspended, three years of supervised probation, and fifteen years to serve. Further, the court required him to register as a sex offender and to undergo mandatory sex counseling while incarcerated and during probation. The court also ordered Bias not to have any contact with J.B.

         ¶5. On March 31, 2014, Bias filed a PCR motion, which the circuit court summarily denied. Bias appealed, asserting the issues set forth in the first paragraph of this opinion. The PCR motion contained in the initial appellate record was missing some pages. On March 31, 2017, Bias filed a motion to supplement the record with the missing pages. We granted Bias's motion in an order entered on April 5, 2017, and a supplemental volume of the record was filed on April 25, 2017. However, the supplemental volume's version of the PCR motion was still incomplete, resulting in the absence of essential portions of Bias's second argument on appeal: that his confession did not match the physical evidence.

         ¶6. Because of the incompleteness of Bias's PCR motion in the record before us and the trial court's summary denial of the PCR motion without addressing the specific issues that had been raised in the motion, we are only able to speculate as to which arguments were actually presented to the trial court for review. Bias contends that the PCR motion filed with the trial court included his argument that his confession did not match the physical evidence, and that the pages containing that argument were simply missing from the appellate record. That may be true. However, no version of the PCR motion in the record before us contains a complete statement of the ...


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