Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gordon v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 17, 2019

TYSHEKA GORDON A/K/A TYSHEKA S. GORDON A/K/A TYSHEKA CHARMAINE GORDON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/05/2018

          JONES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DAL WILLIAMSON

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: TYSHEKA GORDON (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LAURA H. TEDDER

          BEFORE CARLTON, P.J., WESTBROOKS AND C. WILSON, JJ.

          C. WILSON, J.

         ¶1. On November 4, 2015, Tysheka Gordon pled guilty to one count of aggravated domestic violence and one count of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. Following a hearing, the Jones County Circuit Court accepted Gordon's plea and sentenced Gordon on both counts. Gordon subsequently filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) in the circuit court, asserting that her convictions should be overturned and set aside due to (1) lack of competency to enter a voluntary guilty plea and (2) ineffective assistance of counsel. Following review, the circuit court found Gordon's PCR motion lacked merit and summarily denied relief. Gordon filed a motion for reconsideration, and the circuit court denied that motion as well. Gordon now appeals the circuit court's denial of her PCR motion. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. This matter stems from two separate crimes, the first occurring on March 4, 2014. On that day, Gordon and her boyfriend got into a dispute in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. When Gordon's boyfriend tried to leave the store in Gordon's car, Gordon, who had gotten into the backseat of the car, shot him in the back of the head. Gordon was arrested for aggravated domestic violence.

         ¶3. Just over one month later, on April 14, 2014, Gordon attacked a correctional officer while being held in the Jones County jail. Gordon, admittedly unprovoked, stabbed the officer in the face multiple times with two pieces of metal. As a result of this incident, Gordon was charged with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.

         ¶4. Grand juries indicted Gordon on both offenses: one count of aggravated domestic violence and one count of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. The court appointed public defender John A. Piazza to represent Gordon. Following his appointment, Piazza filed a motion for psychiatric examination. In his motion, Piazza stated that he had "reason to believe [Gordon] suffers from some mental disease, injury or deficiency which could render [her] incapable of assisting in preparation of [her] defense of the cause against [her], or in standing trial on said cause."[1] The circuit court granted Piazza's motion and ordered Gordon to be examined by Dr. Criss Lott, a clinical and forensic psychologist, on February 17, 2015, at 7 a.m. According to the court's order, the purpose of the evaluation was:

(a) To describe [Gordon's] mental state at the time of the alleged offense(s) with respect to her ability to know the nature and quality of her acts and to know the difference between right and wrong in relation to her alleged acts at that time.
(b) To describe any mitigating circumstances; especially whether the offense with which [Gordon] [wa]s charged was committed while she was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance; and whether her capacity to appreciate the criminality of her conduct or to conform her conduct to the requirements of the law was substantially impaired.
(c) To determine [Gordon's] capacity to understand and to knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive or assert her constitutional rights.
(d) To determine whether [Gordon] waived her constitutional rights during the interview conducted on May 17, 2013.

         ¶5. On February 21, 2015, Dr. Lott submitted a thorough twenty-three page letter to the circuit court reporting the results of his evaluation of Gordon. In his letter, Dr. Lott gave the following opinions:

1. Regarding Competency:
It is my opinion, to a reasonable degree of psychological certainty, that although Ms. Gordon appears to have a history of mental illness, she has the sufficient present ability to confer with her attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding in preparation of her defense and she has rational as well as factual understanding of the nature and object of the legal proceedings against her.
She understood her charges, but she did not know the maximum penalties. She became visibly upset when discussing the possible penalties, as she insisted that she had acted in self-defense when she shot her boyfriend. She was familiar with the roles of the major participants in Court. She understands her right to testify, and she appears to have a reasonable understanding of the plea process.
2. Regarding Sanity:
It is my opinion that Ms. Gordon suffers from a genuine mental illness, but her alleged behavior at the time of her shooting her boyfriend was not predicated on a mental illness and she would have had the ability to know the nature and quality of her actions and to know the difference between right and wrong in relation to her actions at that time. Ms. Gordon denied experiencing any unusual perceptions at that time and repeatedly insisted that she acted in self-defense.
I am unable to render an opinion with certainty regarding her assaulting the officer in the jail. It appears that her behavior was unprovoked and may have been the predicated on her mental illness. The jail staff reported that she attacked the officer for no apparent reason and the video appears to support this fact. When asked about this incident, Ms. Gordon said she did not know why she assaulted the officer. She denied hearing any command ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.