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Fogleman v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi, En Banc

August 29, 2019

JEREMY SHANE FOGLEMAN a/k/a JEREMY FOGLEMAN a/k/a JEREMY S. FOGLEMAN
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/18/2016

          HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ROGER T. CLARK JUDGE

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: IAN LAWRENCE BAKER ROBERT CHARLES STEWART JOEL SMITH

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA M. AINSWORTH

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH

         ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI

          MAXWELL, JUSTICE

         ¶1. A jury convicted Jeremy Fogleman of felony failure to stop his motor vehicle for police. Because Fogleman fled at a high rate of speed, showing an indifference to the consequences and to causing injury, the trial judge designated Fogleman's offense a crime of violence under Mississippi Code Section 97-3-2(2) (Rev. 2014). This finding resulted in Fogleman's parole-ineligibility period increasing from one-fourth to one-half of his five-year sentence-a sentence clearly allowed by statute and authorized by the jury's verdict.

         ¶2. Even though Fogleman's sentence fell within the statutory range of up to five years in prison and the judge's findings did not increase a statutory maximum or minimum sentence, the Court of Appeals reversed and rendered the crime-of-violence designation. The appellate court held that the resulting parole-ineligibility increase violated the Sixth Amendment because it was based on facts found by a judge, not a jury.

         ¶3. The United States Supreme Court has held that the Sixth Amendment requires factual determinations that increase maximum or minimum sentences be submitted to a jury and found beyond a reasonable doubt.[1] But there is a notable distinction between a judge making factual findings that affect an actual sentence-for example, increasing the maximum or minimum sentence-versus those that merely impact time served. The first scenario requires a jury finding, while the second, which we confront here, does not. Our review shows that Fogleman's sentence-five years in prison, with no eligibility for parole or early release until half his sentence had been served-fell well within the range authorized by statute and by the jury's verdict.[2] We find the judge's crime-of-violence designation merely impacted the minimum time Fogleman had to serve before becoming parole eligible. It did nothing to affect Fogleman's sentence. Thus, no Sixth Amendment violation occurred.

         ¶4. We reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and reinstate the judgment of the Circuit Court of Harrison County.

         Background Facts and Procedural History

         ¶5. On August 27, 2014, a Biloxi police officer attempted to stop a Dodge Charger with a partially obscured license plate. The owner, Jeremy Fogleman, had a suspended driver's license and an outstanding arrest warrant. Rather than obey the officer's signals to stop, Fogleman took off. He led numerous Biloxi police officers on a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods and down Highway 90 at speeds reaching seventy miles per hour. The chase ended when Fogleman's Charger crashed into another car at an intersection. The occupants of the other car suffered minor injuries. Fogleman was immediately arrested.

         ¶6. Fogleman was indicted and tried before a jury. The jury convicted him of failing to stop his vehicle when signaled by law enforcement while operating his vehicle with reckless or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property. See Miss. Code Ann. § 97-9-72(2) (Rev. 2014). This offense carried statutory penalties of up to five years in prison. After the jury was dismissed, the State moved to classify Fogleman's crime as a crime of violence. The State argued Fogleman "used physical force, or made a credible attempt or threat of physical force against another person as part of [his] criminal act." Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-2(2) (Rev. 2014).

         ¶7. The trial judge sentenced Fogleman-within the statutory maximum-to five years in Mississippi Department of Corrections' custody. See Miss. Code Ann. § 97-9-72(2). The judge also granted the State's motion and designated in the sentencing order that Fogleman had committed a crime of violence under Section 97-3-2(2). Under this provision, "No person convicted of a crime of violence listed in this section is eligible for parole or for early release from the custody of the Department of Corrections until the person has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed by the court." Id.

         ¶8. Fogleman appealed. On appeal, he did not challenge his conviction. Rather, his sole claim is that the trial judge erred by applying Section 97-3-2(2).

         ¶9. We assigned Fogleman's appeal to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court ruled that Section 97-3-2(2) is unconstitutional. Relying on Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99, 113, 133 S.Ct. 2151, 2161, 186 L.Ed.2d 314 (2013), the Court of Appeals concluded that Section 97-3-2(2) violates the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution because it allows a judge, not a jury, to make a factual finding that increases the mandatory minimum amount of time a convict must serve. Fogleman v. State, 2016-KA-01244-COA, 2018 WL 4444057, at *3 (Miss. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 2018). The Court of Appeals reversed and rendered the crime-of-violence designation in the sentencing order.

         ¶10. The State petitioned for certiorari review, which we granted.

         Discussion

         ¶11. After review, we reverse the Court of Appeals' decision and reinstate the trial judge's crime-of-violence designation. We find Section 97-3-2(2) does not increase the statutory minimum sentence, so it does not run afoul of Alleyne's holding and is not unconstitutional.

         I.Alleyne and Section ...


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