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Whittaker v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 28, 2018

TREMAINE WHITTAKER A/K/A TREMAINE WHITAKER A/K/A TREMAINE A. WHITTAKER A/K/A TREMAINE A. WHITAKER APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/15/2012

          HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. JEFF WEILL SR. TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: BENJAMIN A. SUBER GEORGE T. HOLMES DANIEL HINCHCLIFF

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ROBERT SHULER SMITH

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. Tremaine Whittaker challenges his convictions for statutory rape, sexual battery of a minor child, and gratification of lust. The Hinds County Circuit Court sentenced him to serve thirty years for statutory rape, thirty years for sexual battery of a minor child, and fifteen years for gratification of lust, with all three sentences to run concurrently in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Whittaker appeals.

         ¶2. He alleges that: (1) cumulative error deprived him of his right to a fundamentally fair and impartial trial; (2) the search warrant deprived him of his Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights provided by the United States Constitution; and (3) the circuit court erred in allowing the testimony from Katherine Bullie and Jessica Jones. We affirm the conviction.

         FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

         ¶3. On a sunny morning in late spring of 2011, a fourteen-year-old girl was waiting at her school-bus stop. This young girl-whom we will refer to as "A.T." to protect her identity-turned to see an unusual purple car drive around the corner. She recognized the driver. He was Tremaine Whittaker, a thirty-one-year-old man who had married one of her close relatives and whose daughter was A.T.'s best friend. Whittaker drove up to A.T., got out of the car, and forced the young girl inside.

         ¶4. He drove A.T. to an apartment and dragged her into the bedroom, where he inserted his penis into her vagina and mouth.[1]

         ¶5. Whittaker then drove A.T. to her school around noon. He signed her in and he used a different name. Because A.T. had arrived late and Whittaker-not her registered guardian-had dropped her off, school officials notified A.T.'s guardians and law enforcement.

         ¶6. A.T. then relayed the events to Jackson Police Department officials, and was taken to a hospital for examination and to Children's Advocacy ...


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