OF JUDGMENT: 02/23/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. EDDIE H.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
MOLLIE MARIE MCMILLIN
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DANIEL CHRISTOPHER JONES
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Julius Ladale Bender was indicted in the Circuit Court of the
Second Judicial District of Jasper County on one count of
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. After a jury
trial, Bender was sentenced as a non-violent habitual
offender to ten years in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections. Bender filed for a judgment
notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative,
for a new trial. The circuit court denied his motion. Bender
On appeal, Bender's appellate counsel filed a brief in
compliance with Lindsey v. State, 939 So.2d
743 (Miss. 2005). Bender filed a supplemental pro se brief
asserting several claims. After independently reviewing the
record, this Court finds no issues warranting reversal.
Therefore, we affirm.
On September 3, 1997, Bender pled guilty to the felony crime
of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. Years
later, on April 26, 2014, Bender was involved in an
altercation on Richards Street; shots were fired, and Officer
Eric Winfrey was called to the scene. Although Bender was not
under arrest, Winfrey handcuffed him and proceeded to
question him about the shooting. Bender stated that he had
been jumped by a local gang and they shot at him. At first,
Bender denied having a gun but then admitted to having one.
Winfrey retrieved the gun and took it into police custody.
In August 2015, Bender was indicted for willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously possessing a firearm after being convicted of
a felony. During the trial, Bender admitted purchasing a gun
from a pawn shop in Laurel in 2007. Bender claims he thought
the pawn shop ran a background check on him and that his
previous conviction had been expunged.
A jury found Bender guilty of possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon, and he was sentenced as a non-violent
habitual offender to ten years in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections, without eligibility
for reduction, suspension, parole, or probation. ...