Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brent v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 22, 2018

JAMES LEE BRENT A/K/A JAMES LEE BRENT JR. A/K/A JAMES BRENT A/K/A JAMES L. BRENT APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/29/2016

          MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. STEVE S. RATCLIFF III JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: MOLLIE MARIE MCMILLIN

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

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: MICHAEL GUEST

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., FAIR AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. A jury sitting before the Madison County Circuit Court found James Lee Brent guilty of armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a felon. For each conviction, the circuit court sentenced Brent as a violent habitual offender to life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections without eligibility for parole or early release. We agree with Brent's appointed appellate counsel that there was insufficient evidence to find Brent guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. We also agree that the doctrine of retroactive misjoinder entitles Brent to a new trial on the armed robbery and kidnapping charges. Consequently, we reverse the circuit court's judgment, render a verdict of acquittal regarding the felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm charge, and remand the armed robbery and kidnapping charges to the circuit court.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. During the early morning hours of November 12, 2015, Rayshaun Banks was on his third-shift lunch break from a manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi, when he stopped at a gas station. According to Banks, as he was adding air to one of his tires, a man later identified as Brent[1] pressed something to the back of his head and demanded his money. Banks said he did not have any money, so Brent ordered Banks to get in the car. With Brent in the passenger seat, Banks drove south on I-55 and took the next exit at Gluckstadt. Banks then drove to a bank ATM to withdraw money. Banks said he needed to get out of the car to remove his wallet, but it was actually a pretense to run to safety and contact authorities.

         ¶3. Brent drove away in Banks's car, but he was apprehended later that morning in Jackson. He gave a statement and denied that he robbed Banks. According to Brent, Banks had agreed to give him a ride. Brent admitted that while they were in Banks's car, he "put [his] finger behind [Banks's] ear up against [Banks's] head" and told Banks that he was "going to use this car tonight . . . ." But Brent also said that Banks knew he was unarmed because Banks saw his fingers after he moved them away from Banks's head. When asked why Banks said Brent had a gun, Brent opined that Banks was "probably mad."

         ¶4. As for why Banks drove to the ATM, Brent said that Banks was going to "get . . . some money so [Banks could] get back to Canton." Despite the implication that Banks was going to let Brent have the car, Brent later admitted that he took it without Banks's permission. He added that he felt "bad about it, because [he knew] it wasn't [his] property."

         ¶5. Brent was indicted and charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a felon. At trial, the prosecution called Banks and three law-enforcement officers who were involved in either Banks's report of the events, Brent's arrest, or the subsequent investigation. Brent chose to testify. He essentially reiterated the version of his events from his statement and said that Banks had agreed to give him a ride, he never had a pistol, and Banks bolted from the car for no reason. Brent also claimed that he intended to return Banks's car by leaving it somewhere in Jackson. As discussed above, the jury found him guilty of all three charges. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.