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Thomas v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

July 19, 2018

ANDRE JERMAINE THOMAS a/k/a ANDRE THOMAS
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/07/2017

          HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS, JR. JUDGE

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: JASON MICHAEL JOSEF ALISON BRYANT BAKER GLENN F. RISHEL, JR. ROBERT GEOFFREY GERMANY, JR.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK GEORGE T. HOLMES

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LISA L. BLOUNT

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH

          ROBERT GEOFFREY GERMANY, JR. COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC

          BEFORE WALLER, C.J., COLEMAN AND MAXWELL, JJ.

          WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE

         ¶1. A Harrison County jury found Andre Jermaine Thomas guilty of one count of felony shoplifting. Finding Thomas's arguments to be without merit, and finding no other arguable issues in the record, we affirm Thomas's conviction and sentence.

         FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Andre Jermaine Thomas and Anthony Ledet went to the Sam's Club in Gulfport, Mississippi, at around 8:00 p.m. on February 27, 2015. The store's surveillance video shows that Thomas and Ledet entered the store, walked to the electronics department, loaded two flat-screen television boxes onto a flat cart, and then pushed the cart past the cash registers to the store's exit. Sam's Club employee Chase Ladner was working at the store's exit door on the night in question and was tasked with checking customers' receipts as they left the store. As Thomas and Ledet approached Ladner, Ledet stepped away from the store's exit and feigned a heart attack. Ladner came to Ledet's aid, which allowed Thomas to exit the store without paying for the televisions.

         ¶3. Devin Darby, the store's asset-protection manager, responded to a "code white" call for a health/injury concern at the store's exit door and observed Ledet sitting at a bench between the store's entrance and exit. Moments later, Darby was informed that someone may have taken some televisions from the store. Darby went to the parking lot to investigate and saw a man smoking a cigarette next to a car with two television boxes protruding from its trunk. Darby did not get a good look at the man's face because it was dark outside, but he noticed that the man was wearing a hat and a camouflage jacket. Darby asked the man if he needed help loading the televisions into his car, but company policy prevented him from asking to see the man's receipt for the televisions. After returning to the store, Darby checked the surveillance cameras and discovered that the man he had seen in the parking lot had taken the televisions from the store without paying for them.

         ¶4. Ledet was transported to the hospital but was released on the same night. A few weeks later, Ledet was arrested and charged with felony shoplifting. Ledet admitted that Thomas had helped him steal the televisions, and he identified Thomas from a six-person photographic lineup. An officer with the Gulfport Police Department also identified Thomas from the surveillance footage due to his prior dealings with Thomas. Thomas was arrested and charged with shoplifting.[1] A ...


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