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Ware v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 18, 2018

JOHN F. WARE A/K/A JOHN FITZGERALD WARE A/K/A JOHN WARE
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/16/2017

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

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: MOLLIE MARIE MCMILLIN

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: KATY TAYLOR GERBER

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: STEVEN SIMEON KILGORE

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.

          LEE, C.J.

         ¶1. A jury in the Scott County Circuit Court convicted John Ware of possession of a deadly weapon by a convicted felon.[1] The trial court sentenced Ware as a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015) to ten years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with two years suspended and two years of postrelease supervision. Ware's trial counsel filed a posttrial motion, which the trial court denied.

         ¶2. Through his appointed appellate counsel, Ware appeals arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the guilty verdict. Ware also filed a pro se brief asserting ineffective assistance of counsel and an illegal sentence.

         FACTS

         ¶3. On June 25, 2016, around 11:00 pm, Sergeant Timothy Lloyd with the Scott County Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance between Ware and his wife, Francis, at their house. When Sergeant Lloyd arrived, Ware was washing a car in the driveway, and Francis was inside the house. Sergeant Lloyd testified that he spoke with Francis, who informed him that Ware did not live at the house and that she wanted Ware to leave the premises. While speaking with Ware, Sergeant Lloyd looked into Ware's car and noticed a large knife with gray duct tape wrapped around the handle. Sergeant Lloyd stated that Ware said the knife was for his protection. Sergeant Lloyd confiscated the knife, later turning it over to Investigator Bill Patrick, who also was with the Scott County Sheriff's Department.

         ¶4. Investigator Patrick testified that he believed the knife was a butcher knife based on the length of the blade (approximately eight inches) and the curved tip. Aware that Ware had at least one prior felony conviction, Investigator Patrick brought Ware in for questioning. After waiving his Miranda[2] rights, Ware told Investigator Patrick that he kept the knife in his car for protection.

         ¶5. During trial, Ware stated that he used the knife ...


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