OF JUDGMENT: 06/05/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN III Judge
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CLIFFORD PITTS (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LAURA HOGAN TEDDER
LEE, C.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Clifford Pitts, appearing pro se, appeals the Rankin County
Circuit Court's dismissal of his motion for
post-conviction relief (PCR). After reviewing Pitts's
guilty plea and sentencing hearing transcript, the circuit
court found that Pitts was not entitled to any relief.
Finding no error, we affirm.
On July 26, 2014, Clifford Pitts went to visit
T.R.S. T.R.S. is a 36-year-old female with Down
Syndrome and mental delay. T.R.S. lived with her niece and
caregiver, Madeline Randall. Pitts was married to
T.R.S.'s mother who had passed away prior to the date in
question. Despite her mother's death, T.R.S. still
considered Pitts to be her step-father. Because of their
relationship, Randall allowed Pitts to take T.R.S. to
Wendy's to get a hamburger during his visit in Jackson.
Pitts contends that he and T.R.S. ordered their food inside,
ate their food in the truck, and then he drove by his hotel
to show her where he was staying while he was in town. Pitts
maintains that they never went inside the hotel at any time.
T.R.S. was rather reserved when she arrived home, which
cautioned Randall to suspect something was wrong. T.R.S. told
Randall, "It was bad . . . he did it again."
Randall immediately took T.R.S. to the hospital. T.R.S. later
told the investigating officer that after Pitts took her to
Wendy's, he took her to his hotel room where Pitts
sexually penetrated her, before taking her home.
On July 26, 2014, Pitts was arrested by the Brandon Police
Department for two counts of sexual battery. On February 19,
2015, a Rankin County Grand Jury indicted Pitts on two counts
of sexual battery of a vulnerable person. On September 8,
2015, Pitts pleaded guilty to the charge of sexual battery of
a vulnerable person while in a position of trust or
authority. On May 24, 2017, Pitts filed a PCR motion,
which the trial court dismissed. Pitts timely appeals.
"When reviewing a trial court's denial or dismissal
of a PCR motion, we will only disturb the trial court's
factual findings if they are clearly erroneous; however, we
review the trial court's legal conclusions under a de
novo standard of review." Purnell v. State, 126
So.3d 949, 951 (¶4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (citing
Hughes v. State, 106 So.3d 836, 838 (¶4) (Miss.
Ct. App. 2012)).
I.Whether the indictment failed to charge essential