JERMAINE ALSTON a/k/a JERMAINE D. ALSTON
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 03/21/2018
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER, JR. TRIAL JUDGE.
COURT ATTORNEYS: MIKE HOWIE, JAY HOWARD
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
KAYLYN HAVRILLA McCLINTON
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DOUG EVANS
KITCHENS, P.J., COLEMAN AND GRIFFIS, JJ.
On March 21, 2018, an Attala County jury convicted Jermaine
Alston of burglary of a dwelling. The trial court sentenced
Alston as a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Section
99-19-81 (Rev. 2015) to twenty-five years without the
possibility or parole or early release. Alston filed a motion
for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, alternatively,
a new trial. The trial court denied Alston's motion, and
he filed a notice of appeal.
On appeal, the Court granted Alston's trial counsel's
motion to withdraw and allowed counsel for the Mississippi
Office of Indigent Appeals to be substituted as counsel of
record. Alston's appellate counsel found no arguable
issue to raise on appeal and filed a brief in accordance with
Lindsey v. State, 939 So.2d 743 (Miss. 2005). After
reviewing the record, we discern no reversible error or issue
warranting supplemental briefing. We affirm Alston's
conviction and sentence.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On August 6, 2016, Daniel Aughtman left his home around 10:00
p.m. for about two hours. When Aughtman returned home, he
noticed that his door was open even though he had locked it
earlier before he left. Aughtman also noticed that a window
had been broken and another window with a window air
conditioner unit had been raised. The windows were not broken
or raised when Aughtman left his home earlier. Aughtman went
inside, noticed that his belongings were scattered around,
and discovered that several of his possessions were missing.
A large gun cabinet safe, guns, a television, an air
conditioner, and a small safe had been taken. Aughtman called
the police and reported that his home had been burglarized.
Officer Dwain Steed of the Attala County Sheriff's Office
responded to the scene. Officer Steed observed the damaged
window and the raised window. Officer Steed determined that
the suspect forcibly had entered the home through the raised
window. Officer Steed was unable to develop any suspects.
Months later, Aughtman informed an Atalla County
Sheriff's Office deputy that he suspected that his friend
Brittani Stephens had been involved in the burglary. Aughtman
explained that Stephens had visited his home occasionally and
had called him on the day of the burglary. Although Aughtman
had regular contact with Stephens and spent time with her at
his home, he had not heard from her since the day of the
burglary. Aughtman thought the complete lack of contact since
the day of the burglary was unusual. Aughtman testified that
Stephens did not have permission to enter his house on August
Chief Investigator Zelie Shaw of the Attala County
Sheriff's Office interviewed Stephens. After Investigator
Shaw interviewed Stephens, he developed Alston, Charlie
Thrasher, and John Corr as additional suspects involved in
the burglary. On August 10, 2017, Alston, Stephens, Thrasher,
and Corr were indicted for burglary of a dwelling in
violation of Mississippi Code Section 97-17-23 (Rev. 2014).
Alston was charged as a habitual offender under Section
99-19-81. Alston's case was severed, and he was brought
to trial. At trial, Alston did not dispute that
Aughtman's home was ...