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Walker v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 5, 2017

MARCUS ANDREW WALKER A/K/A MARCUS WALKER A/K/A MARCUS A. WALKER APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

         DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/13/2016

         FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JON MARK WEATHERS JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: JASON L. DAVIS

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: PATRICIA A. THOMAS BURCHELL

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

          BARNES, J.

         ¶1. Marcus Walker was convicted of felony escape in Forrest County Circuit Court, and sentenced to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). After the circuit court denied his post-trial motion, he appealed. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In 2008, Walker was convicted of simple robbery and sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the MDOC, with fifteen years suspended and five years of post-release supervision. In October 2012, Walker was arrested on a misdemeanor charge. The circuit court entered an order revoking Walker's probation for the robbery charge on November 1, and he was ordered to serve five years of his suspended sentence in the custody of the MDOC. While Walker was being held by the Forrest County Sheriff's Department, awaiting transportation to an MDOC facility, he was assigned as a trustee to the service center utilized by the sheriff's department for servicing its vehicles. On November 26, 2012, he escaped from the work detail.

         ¶3. On December 8, 2012, the United States Marshal's Fugitive Task Force received a tip that Walker was in a motel room in Hattiesburg, and he was arrested without incident. On December 10, 2012, MDOC Investigator James Cooksey interviewed Walker. After being advised of his rights, Walker signed a waiver and gave a statement, admitting he was serving a five-year sentence for robbery. Walker said he walked around the fence in the service center, camped out in nearby woods, and stayed with relatives until they discovered he was a fugitive and made him leave. He stayed at a nearby motel until he was apprehended.

         ¶4. After a jury trial, Walker was convicted of felony escape on May 12, 2016, and sentenced to five years in MDOC custody, with the sentence to run consecutively to any other sentence(s) being served. Walker filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which the court denied. Aggrieved, Walker filed this appeal. Walker is represented by the Indigent Appeals Division of the Office of State Public Defender, which has filed a brief with this Court pursuant to Lindsey v. State, 939 So.2d 743 (Miss. 2005), stating no arguable issues exist for appeal. Appellate counsel confirmed that he sent a copy of the brief to Walker, along with correspondence informing Walker that he found no arguable issues in the record to raise as error and that Walker had a right to file a pro se brief to raise any perceived errors. Walker has submitted a pro se brief, arguing: (1) the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the required elements of felony escape; (2) the jury should have been instructed on a lesser-included misdemeanor escape charge; and (3) his indictment was defective as it had expired under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-17-1 (Rev. 2015).

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. In Lindsey, the Mississippi Supreme Court set forth the process to follow when appellate counsel for an indigent criminal defendant ...


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