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Patrick v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 26, 2018

MALCOLM K. PATRICK A/K/A MALCOLM KENDREL PATRICK A/K/A MALCOLM PATRICK APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/15/2017

          SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CHRISTOPHER A. COLLINS JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: MARK SHELDON DUNCAN

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., WILSON AND TINDELL, JJ.

          IRVING, P.J.

         ¶1. Malcolm Patrick appeals the judgment of the Scott County Circuit Court adjudicating him guilty of receiving stolen property and sentencing him to ten years, with two years suspended, in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). In this appeal, Patrick argues: his sentence is excessive; the trial court erred by granting a certain jury instruction; his due process rights were violated because he was forced to wear jail attire during his trial; and the State failed to present sufficient evidence to sustain the verdict.

         ¶2. Because we find the evidence insufficient to sustain the verdict, we reverse and render Patrick's conviction and sentence. Therefore, we do not address Patrick's other arguments, except for a limited discussion of the legality of his sentence.

         FACTS

         ¶3. On October 28, 2015, Vickie Stroud contacted the Scott County Sheriff's Department and reported that her son, Perry Stroud's Honda Foreman 4x4 four-wheeler had been stolen. The Scott County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation and listed the four-wheeler as stolen on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) registry. Officers canvassed the area searching for information and for the stolen property. Investigator Donald Simpson led the investigation and testified that the day after the four-wheeler was reported stolen, he received information that it had been spotted. Shortly after, a concerned citizen, Willie Wilson, informed law enforcement officers that he had seen Patrick riding the four-wheeler and could arrange to purchase it. According to the State, Wilson received nothing in exchange for his agreement to work with investigators. He testified that he agreed to participate because he wanted to do the right thing.

         ¶4. Wilson called Patrick, who offered to sell Wilson the four-wheeler for $750. Vickie testified that she purchased the four-wheeler in December 2006, for $6, 500, and that she thought the vehicle was worth between $1, 000 and $5, 000, but later testified that it was worth at least $3, 500 at the time it was stolen. Vickie's son, Perry, testified that he thought the vehicle was worth approximately $4, 200 at the time it was stolen.

         ¶5. Investigator Simpson contacted Brad Ellis, the sheriff's department's lead narcotics investigator, and asked him to facilitate the controlled buy. Investigator Ellis arranged for Wilson to meet him at the sheriff's department, where he provided the recording equipment and the official state funds to purchase the four-wheeler. Wilson then met with Patrick and purchased the four-wheeler and a trailer that he used to transport it. The entire transaction was captured via both audio and video using the recording equipment provided by the sheriff's department. As agreed, Wilson purchased the four-wheeler and the trailer for a total of $750.

         ¶6. Patrick was indicted on March 27, 2017, for receiving stolen property. On June 7, 2017, a jury found Patrick guilty of receiving stolen property. The circuit court sentenced him to ten years, with two years suspended and eight years to serve, in the custody of the MDOC. On June 16, 2017, Patrick filed a motion for a new trial, challenging, among other things, ...


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