JAMES CHRISTOPHER SKINNER A/K/A CHRISTOPHER SKINNER A/K/A JAMES SKINNER A/K/A JAMES C. SKINNER A/K/A CHRIS SKINNER APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 08/02/2017
FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOHN
HUEY EMFINGER TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JACOB WAYNE HOWARD.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
KATY TAYLOR GERBER.
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.
On March 25, 2011, a Rankin County jury convicted Chris
Skinner of one count of disorderly conduct and one count of
felony evasion. The circuit court sentenced Skinner as a
habitual offender to serve six months in the county jail for
his disorderly conduct conviction and life in prison without
eligibility for parole for his felony evasion conviction. On
appeal to this Court, we affirmed Skinner's conviction
and sentence. Skinner v. State, 120 So.3d 419 (Miss.
Ct. App. 2013).
After obtaining leave from the Mississippi Supreme Court,
Skinner filed a motion for postconviction relief (PCR), which
the circuit court summarily dismissed. Skinner now appeals
the circuit court's dismissal of his PCR motion, arguing
that the circuit court erred by: (1) dismissing his PCR
motion after the supreme court granted him leave to proceed
in the circuit court; (2) concluding that Skinner's PCR
claim is barred by res judicata; and (3) refusing to consider
the mitigating circumstances of Skinner's prior childhood
convictions when enhancing his sentence to life in prison
without eligibility for parole.
After our review, we find error in the circuit court's
dismissal of Skinner's PCR motion. We therefore reverse
and remand this case to the circuit court for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
After a jury trial in Rankin County Circuit Court, Skinner
was convicted of one count of disorderly conduct, in
violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-35-7 (Rev.
2014), and one count of felony evasion of police, in
violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-9-72(2)
(Rev. 2014). Pursuant to statute, the maximum jail sentence
for a disorderly conduct conviction is "imprisonment in
the county jail for not more than six (6)
months" and the maximum sentence for a felony
evasion conviction is "commitment to the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections for not more than five
Prior to Skinner's trial, the State amended Skinner's
indictment to charge him as a habitual offender pursuant to
Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-83 (Rev.
2015). The circuit court granted the State's
motion. The record shows that the State's motion to amend
the indictment set forth Skinner's underlying convictions
(1) Rankin County, Mississippi cause number 18714-conviction
of possession of a controlled substance and sentence of eight
years in the custody of the MDOC, with four years suspended
and four years to serve, followed by four years'
post-release supervision; (2) Escambia County, Florida case
number 94-5154CFA4M-01-conviction of Count I, attempted
carjacking with a firearm, and sentence of four years in the
custody of the FDOC, followed by two years of supervised
probation; and (3) Escambia County, Florida case number
94-5154CFA4M-01-conviction of Count II, aggravated assault
with a firearm, ...