WILLIAM LEE WHITTAKER, II a/k/a WILLIAM L. WHITTAKER, II a/k/a WILLIAM LEE WHITTAKER a/k/a WILLIAM WHITTAKER
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 10/18/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. DALE HARKEY TRIAL JUDGE
COURT ATTORNEYS: DAVID CARSON FUTCH WILLIAM CARL BARRETT
JUSTIN MICHAEL LOVORN CAROLYN ANN LEWIS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LAURA HOGAN TEDDER
LAURA HOGAN TEDDER DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ANTHONY N. LAWRENCE,
WALLER, C.J., CHAMBERLIN AND ISHEE, JJ.
William Whittaker was convicted of four counts relating to
the sexual abuse of his six- year-old daughter,
Betty. On appeal, Whittaker claims he received
constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel because
his defense attorney did not insist on certain redactions
from the recording and transcript of his partial confession,
in which Whittaker refused to take a polygraph test and
discussed a prior sex-offense conviction. But the exhibits
used at trial were redacted; it appears
Whittaker's appellate counsel has confused them with the
unredacted exhibits admitted at the suppression hearing.
Whittaker also contends his partial confession should have
been suppressed as involuntary, but his theory on appeal is
entirely different from the one he advanced at trial and is
therefore procedurally barred. We affirm Whittaker's
convictions and sentences.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Betty's mother and Whittaker never married, and they
separated in 2011 when Betty was about three years old. At
first, Betty lived with Whittaker and his parents; she and
Whittaker shared a bedroom. Betty went to live with her
mother shortly before she started kindergarten in 2012. From
that point, Betty stayed with Whittaker two or three weekends
a month. She continued to sleep in Whittaker's bedroom
when she stayed with him.
In September 2014, when Betty was six years old, she
mentioned to her mother that she had been bleeding from her
vagina. When Betty's mother tried to investigate, Betty
screamed and resisted. Her mother saw this as very unusual
behavior, which led her to ask Betty whether anyone had been
touching her. Betty initially denied any sexual contact, but
eventually she agreed to tell "Daddy's secret."
Betty subsequently described various acts of sexual abuse to
her mother and, later, to a forensic interviewer. She
ultimately testified at trial to substantially the same acts.
After Whittaker was arrested, he was interviewed by police
investigators. The interview lasted about an hour and a half.
The circumstances surrounding Whittaker's statement will
be discussed more thoroughly below, but ultimately Whittaker
admitted he had, on two occasions, touched his daughter's
genitals with his hands in a sexual manner. He also accused
the child of having tried to initiate a sexual encounter by
sitting on his face while he was sleeping and telling him to
kiss her genitals.
Whittaker was charged with one count of gratification of lust
and three counts of sexual battery, which alleged separately
that Whittaker had penetrated his daughter's vagina with
his fingers, tongue, and penis. He was convicted on all
counts at trial and was sentenced to thirty years on each of
the sexual battery counts, to be served day for day, and to