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Miles v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

July 26, 2018

JASON LEE MILES a/k/a JASON MILES a/k/a JASON L. MILES
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/17/2017

          NESHOBA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. CHRISTOPHER A. COLLINS

          ATTORNEYS: CHRISTOPHER MORGAN POSEY BRITTANY WHITE BROWN MITCHELL DEE THOMAS

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER GEORGE T. HOLMES MITCHELL DEE THOMAS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BILLY L. GORE DISTRICT ATTORNEY: STEVEN SIMEON KILGORE

          BEFORE RANDOLPH, P.J., COLEMAN AND CHAMBERLIN, JJ.

          RANDOLPH, PRESIDING JUSTICE

         ¶1. Jason Lee Miles appeals the verdict of a Neshoba County jury, which found him guilty of grand larceny. Finding no error, we affirm his conviction and sentence.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. The December 2016 Neshoba County Grand Jury indicted Miles for grand larceny. Miles was arraigned on March 8, 2017, and was ordered in writing to appear for call on the first day of the July term, which was July 3, 2017. His trial was set for the second Monday of term, July 10, 2017. On June 28, 2017, the court issued an additional written Order Presetting Place One Criminal Case, setting forth a trial date of July 10, 2017. This order also was furnished to the three attorneys in the public defender's office, who represented Miles.

         ¶3. Miles's trial began on July 11, 2017. Miles's counsel did not move for a continuance until that same date. Counsel argued that he personally did not become aware of this trial date until the start of the July term, i.e., July 3. Counsel related that he did not receive discovery until July 3, and did not receive a DVD of Miles transporting the stolen property taken on January 5, 2016, until July 5. Counsel argued he personally had not had adequate time to prepare due to other trials. Counsel related that Miles had not provided him with a list of potential witnesses until the afternoon before trial. Counsel asked for additional time "to allow us to compel those witnesses and also to make -- to at least view the four-wheeler that was recovered and is alleged to be the same as the one depicted in the video in the possession of my client."

         ¶4. The trial court reminded counsel that Miles was arraigned on March 8, 2017. At his arraignment, Miles was given a trial date of July 10, 2017. The court stated that it was its common practice to notify all three public defenders of trial dates. Counsel acknowledged that P. Shawn Harris, commonly referred to as the chief public defender, had assigned Miles's case to him. The trial court denied the motion for continuance, finding:

Mr. Thomas, the record is clear that Mr. Harris and the public defenders' office were on notice of this trial setting a day ago, on July the 10th, back on the 8th day of March. You have the full and complete subpoena power of the Court for any witnesses that you see fit to issue a subpoena for. I don't think I would be further dilatory in issuing them, though. If you are interested in issuing subpoenas returnable instanter, I extend that power of the Court to you.

         The record reflects that five subpoenas subsequently were issued to the following people: Mr. Midly, David Holley, Paul Harrison, Jimmy Smith, and Mr. Thompson.

         ¶5. During the trial, it was gleaned that Donald Coleman was the present owner of a house and a one-acre tract of land in Neshoba County, located off Highway 16 East in Longdale. Seven years prior, Donald had a series of strokes, which eventually caused him to be placed in a nursing home in Meridian. Lavell, Donald's brother, testified that he regularly checked on Donald's land and property, in his absence, including a four-wheeler, lawn mower, and trailer, kept under a shed beside Donald's house. Although it was not marked as an exhibit, upon examination, Lavell verified the document giving him power of attorney over his brother.

         ¶6. On January 5, 2016, Lavell drove by Donald's house and saw the four-wheeler, lawn mower, and trailer chained and locked under the shed. The next evening, the equipment was gone. Lavell noticed tire tracks in the yard and immediately called the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office. At that time, Lavell's granddaughter, Brittney, was living in Donald's house while she attended college.

         ¶7. Lavell testified that the trailer was blue, six to eight feet long, with two wheels, and was approximately ten to fifteen years old. The sides of the trailer were wooden with a metal back that could be used as a ramp for loading and unloading. Lavell testified that the present value of the trailer was approximately $1, 000 to $1, 500.

         ¶8. Lavell testified that the four-wheeler was a dark green Arctic Cat, purchased new approximately fifteen to twenty years prior. At the time the four-wheeler was stolen, it was no longer running. ...


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