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Cagle v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 7, 2018

COREY RAY CAGLE A/K/A COREY CAGLE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/09/2017

          ATTALA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER JR. TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: ERIN ELIZABETH BRIGGS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DOUG EVANS

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          WESTBROOKS, J.

         ¶1. Corey Cagle was convicted on one count of possession of a controlled substance within a jail facility in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 47-5-198(1) (Rev. 2015) and sentenced to seven years in the custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Cagle filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial. The Attala County Circuit Court denied Cagle's motion. Cagle timely appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On March 5, 2016, Cagle contends that he was contacted by Blake Rice, an inmate in the Attala County Jail, through Shawn James, another inmate, to do him a favor. Rice wanted Cagle to go by his mother's home and pick up money in anticipation of his release. Additionally, Rice wanted Cagle to meet a woman, whom Cagle did not know, to get clothing for him. In his statement to police, Cagle stated that he picked up the money and met the woman for the clothes. Cagle asserted that the woman handed him a bag, and although he felt the bag, he never looked inside.

         ¶3. When Cagle arrived at the jail to drop off the bag and money, Deputies Scott Walters and Hugh Curry were standing outside of the jail, and Officer Darren Fleming was sitting in his car. Rice had instructed Cagle to give the bag to Tanya Roby, the jailer-on-duty, and leave it in Jordan Ickom's name. Cagle stated that Rice told him that Roby would know what to do with the money. Cagle dropped the bag off with Roby and immediately left the jail.

         ¶4. At trial, Walters testified that he first smelled marijuana when Cagle walked past him while entering the jail. Although in Walters's written incident report, which he wrote the same day as the incident, he states he did not smell marijuana until after Cagle exited the jail on his way back to his vehicle. Walters testified that seconds after Cagle exited, he went inside of the jail and asked Roby who brought the bag. Roby stated she did not know who he was and pointed to a name on a board of inmates, Emmanuel Wilkes.

         ¶5. Walters inspected the bag, found a towel inside, and opened the towel, discovering a plastic baggie and a gray duct-taped item wrapped inside. Walter stated that he cut open the baggie and the duct tape, revealing marijuana in both. Roby testified that in the moments between Cagle exiting the jail and Walters inspecting the bag, she had opened the bag, saw the towel, smelled the marijuana, removed the money, and threw the bag on a stand by a television. Additionally, Roby said that after removing the thirty dollars, she placed it in a property bag and locked the money in a cabinet. Later, Roby was asked by the sheriff about removing the money, and she denied doing so, stating that she thought she was being set-up by Cagle.

         ¶6. Before entering the jail, Walters had instructed Fleming to wait in his car and watch which direction Cagle went. After finding the marijuana, Walters and Fleming followed and arrested Cagle down the street. Cagle allowed Walters to drive his vehicle back to the county jail and willingly gave a ...


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