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.
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND TINDELL, JJ.
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." 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
(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;
(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.
Harrison County Circuit Court, First Judicial District,
granted the State's motion to amend.
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