JOHN PHINIZEE A/K/A JOHN L. PHINIZEE JR. APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 08/10/2016
LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES T.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: BLEWETT W. THOMAS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
John Phinizee appeals the Lowndes County Circuit Court's
dismissal of his motion for post-conviction relief (PCR).
Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The following facts are taken from Phinizee v.
State, 983 So.2d 322, 324-26 (¶¶3-10) (Miss.
Ct. App. 2007):
In April 1999, an officer of the Lowndes County Narcotics
Unit (LCNU) made an undercover purchase of forty dollars
worth of cocaine from Bernard's Pool Hall. No arrest was
made at the time.
In July 2001, officers of the LCNU received a letter from a
concerned citizen stating that a man by the name of John was
selling drugs from Bernard's. Again, in April 2002,
Officer Larry Swearingen of the LCNU received a letter from a
concerned citizen stating that Phinizee was selling cocaine
and marijuana from Bernard's. Shortly thereafter, Officer
Swearingen talked with Phinizee at Bernard's but no
arrest was made at the time.
In October of 2003, Georgia Whitmore's husband came to
Officer Swearingen's office and stated that his wife was
regularly purchasing crack cocaine from Phinizee at
Bernard's Pool Hall and sometimes at one of the Citco
stations in Columbus, Mississippi. He stated further that his
wife had been buying from Phinizee for a long time and was
addicted to cocaine.
On December 8, 2003, Whitmore's husband called Officer
Swearingen and informed him that Whitmore planned to meet
Phinizee to buy cocaine the next day between 7:00 a.m. and
9:00 a.m. at one of two Citco stations, located either on
Highway 45 North or at the intersection of Military Road and
Martin Luther King Drive. Whitmore's husband supplied the
tag number of Phinizee's vehicle, which he described as a
black extended-cab Chevrolet truck. Whitmore's husband
also stated that his wife would be driving a maroon 2000
Prism. Officer Swearingen then ran the tag number and
confirmed that the truck was registered to Phinizee and his
The following day, Officer Swearingen conducted surveillance
of the Citco station at the intersection of Military Road and
Martin Luther King Drive. During the hours suggested, he
observed Whitmore arrive at the gas station, park her car,
and make a call from a pay phone located directly behind a
barbeque pit near the gas station. After completing the phone
call, Whitmore got back in her car and drove around to the
front of the barbeque pit. A few minutes later, Phinizee
arrived at the gas station in a black Chevrolet truck.
Officer Swearingen then observed Phinizee and Whitmore exit
their respective vehicles and make an exchange which he
believed to be a drug transaction. Whitmore then left the gas
station and was pulled over a short distance therefrom at
approximately 8:45 a.m. Whitmore was searched and a Trophy
chewing tobacco pouch containing cocaine was found in her
brassiere. Upon her arrest, [Whitmore] gave a written signed
statement that she had purchased ...