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Barnes v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 5, 2018

EDWARD BARNES A/K/A EDWARD BARNES III APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/21/2016

          HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. ROGER T. CLARK JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: LISA D. COLLUMS.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: KATY TAYLOR GERBER.

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH.

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND TINDELL, JJ.

          BARNES, J.

         ¶1. On July 13, 2015, Edward Barnes III was indicted for failure to register as a convicted sex offender, specifically that he violated Mississippi Code Annotated section 45-33-25(4)(a) (Rev. 2015), which prohibited him from residing "within three thousand (3, 000) feet of . . . a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, a child care facility, a residential child-caring agency, a children's group care home or any playground, ballpark or other recreational facility utilized by persons under the age of eighteen (18) years."[1] Although the initial indictment alleged Barnes was a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015), the State subsequently moved to amend the indictment to reflect habitual-offender status under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-83 (Rev. 2015). The motion stated that Barnes had been convicted of:

(1) armed robbery on June 28, 1995, with a sentence of five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), serving at least one year and one day of the term;
(2) statutory rape on October 9, 2001, with a sentence of five years in MDOC custody, serving at least one year and one day of the term;
(3) failure to register as a convicted sex offender on September 24, 2007, with a sentence of five years in MDOC custody, serving at least one year and one day of the term; and
(4) burglary of a dwelling on May 7, 2012, with a sentence of eight years in MDOC custody, serving at least one year and one day of the term.

         The Harrison County Circuit Court, First Judicial District, granted the State's motion to amend.

         ¶2. A jury trial was held on September 21, 2016. Jessica Akers, the registrar for the Harrison County Sheriff's Department, testified that "sex offenders must register all addresses that they live at between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. for seven or more consecutive days." She noted the various requirements with which a convicted sex offender has to comply, including the proximity restriction that prohibited Barnes from residing within three thousand feet of any schools, child-care facilities, playgrounds, ballparks, or recreational facilities utilized by children under the age of eighteen. When Akers met with Barnes on September 9, 2014, for a registration visit, she went over the requirements on the registration form with Barnes. He signed the form and acknowledged the individual requirements by putting his initials by each one listed. When Akers later entered the address provided by Barnes, she noted a proximity violation-the address was four hundred (400) feet from a day care center. To verify the proximity violation, Akers searched for the location on a Google Earth map and called the day care center to make sure it was still in operation. After verification of the address, Akers sent Barnes a letter on ...


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