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Jackson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 7, 2020

MICHAEL D. JACKSON A/K/A MICHAEL JACKSON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/25/2018

          LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LEE SORRELS COLEMAN TRIAL JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CHRISTOPHER E. KITCHENS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: SCOTT WINSTON COLOM

         En Banc

          LAWRENCE, J.

         ¶1. Following a jury trial, Michael Jackson was found guilty of exploitation of a minor. The circuit court sentenced Jackson to a term of twelve years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five years suspended and seven years to serve. Jackson appealed, arguing the circuit court erred in (1) failing to provide him a probable cause hearing under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-3-28(1)(a) (Rev. 2007); (2) failing to suppress his confession; (3) failing to suppress evidence obtained from his home; (4) limiting his theory of defense; (5) refusing his proposed jury instructions; (6) allowing witness testimony that violated the rules of discovery; and (7) refusing to grant his motion for a new trial. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶2. In 2013, Jackson was a music teacher and choir director at Columbus High School in Columbus, Mississippi. K.B.[1] attended Columbus High School but was not one of Jackson's students. On November 22, 2013, Jackson messaged K.B. on "Kik," an instant messaging application ("app") for mobile devices. When K.B. asked, "who might this be," Jackson responded, "an admirer . . . I'm afraid to say [because] I'm older than [you and] I work at CHS . . . ." K.B. tried guessing, and Jackson messaged, "Before I proceed I have to tell [you] I'm a guy [and] I don't know if you would [be] cool with that." K.B. replied, "as long as you don't try or harass me we cool."

         ¶3. A few days later, Jackson asked K.B. for his cell phone number, and they began text messaging. Jackson asked K.B. detailed questions about his sex life and the size of his penis. Jackson asked K.B. how "big" he was and suggested K.B. should get paid to receive oral sex. Jackson then messaged, "[T]hat could be very lucrative for [you] . . . [why] not get paid to get what [you] already getting . . . ." K.B. responded, "[I don't know] money talks though."

         ¶4. Jackson offered K.B. $50 to give K.B. oral sex. K.B. said that was too cheap. Jackson then offered $100, and K.B. replied, "I [was] looking forward to a Salvatore Ferragamo belt." Jackson then offered $275. K.B. agreed.

         ¶5. They went back and forth on meeting times. On December 7, 2013, they attempted to meet in a gas station bathroom, but Jackson backed out upon arrival, claiming there was too much activity at the gas station. He was also worried about the cameras on the outside of the gas station. Jackson asked K.B. to follow him to his house, but K.B. said he could not because his mother called and needed a ride.

         ¶6. K.B.'s last message to Jackson was on December 16, 2013. He said the hall "was talking," implying that other students knew about what was going on between them. At the end of January, K.B. told his mother about the messages. On January 31, 2014, they went to the police station and met with Investigator Tabertha Hardin. K.B. told Investigator Hardin about the messages between himself and Jackson and showed her the messages on his phone. Jackson was arrested two days later. Investigator Hardin prepared a search warrant for Jackson's home and cell phone, which the police seized the following day. The police also seized two computers, four phones, two tablets, three hard drives, and three jump drives. A forensic analysis of Jackson's phone showed the text messages between Jackson and K.B., including some deleted messages.[2]

         ¶7. On February 3, 2014, around 12 p.m., Investigator Timothy Jenkins met with Jackson. Jackson immediately requested a lawyer. Investigator Jenkins read Jackson his Miranda[3]rights, and Jackson signed a waiver. At that point, the interrogation ceased, and Investigator Jenkins left.

         ¶8. A few hours later, it is undisputed that Jackson requested to speak again with Investigator Jenkins. The following exchange occurred:

Inv. Jenkins: You requested to speak to me, is that right?
Jackson: Uh huh.
Inv. Jenkins: Again, I'm Investigator Jenkins, that's Investigator McCrary. Before we get started talking, earlier today when we started the interview, I read your rights to you correct?
Jackson: Uh huh.
Inv. Jenkins: I need a yes or no . . .
Jackson: Yes.
Inv. Jenkins: And at that time, you requested to speak with a lawyer, is that correct?
Jackson: Yes.
Inv. Jenkins: Now, you are willing to waive that right and speak to me again?
Jackson: I want to tell you about the situation.
Inv. Jenkins: Look, before that, I can't listen to anything like that, you see what I'm saying, to cover myself.
Jackson: Okay.
Inv. Jenkins: I need to read you your [rights] again and if you want to talk to me after that, we can do that okay[?]
Jackson: Okay. I would just rather wait until I consult with a lawyer.
Inv. Jenkins: Okay, that's fine. Um since we are in here, I do have to read your rights again, and then we will go through the whole you want to speak to a lawyer, okay?
Jackson: Okay.
Inv. Jenkins: I understand what you want to talk to me about but like I said to cover me, cover the department and the city, I have to go through the steps; do you know what I mean?
Jackson: Yes sir.
. . . .
Inv. Jenkins: Like I said, we can talk about what you want to talk about, that's fine, but I have to go through all this.
Jackson: Okay.
. . . .
Inv. Jenkins: Okay. We are at the Columbus Police Department. Today's date is Monday, February 3rd. The time now is 3:23 p.m. Alright, just like before . . . (Read rights) Do you understand these rights?
Jackson: Yes.
Inv. Jenkins: (Read waiver of rights) Now, do you want to talk to me about what you requested to talk to me about?
Jackson: Yes.
Inv. Jenkins: If you would, sign right there. Officer McCrary is going to step out so you and I can talk okay?
Jackson: Okay.
Inv. Jenkins: You understand what you have been charged with, right?
Jackson: Yes sir.
Inv. Jenkins: You requested to speak with me, is that right?
Jackson: Yes sir.
Inv. Jenkins: Okay, what would you like to talk to me about?

(Emphasis added). Jackson signed a second Miranda waiver and confessed to offering K.B. $275 to receive oral sex from him.

         ¶9. Jackson was indicted pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-5-33(6) (Supp. 2013). On April 29, 2015, Jackson filed a motion to suppress, claiming that he was denied a probable cause hearing under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-3-28(1)(a). As a result, he requested that any statements given to the Columbus Police Department and any evidence seized in connection with those statements be suppressed.

         ¶10. The circuit court subsequently held a hearing on the motion to suppress and heard testimony from Jackson and Investigators Hardin and Jenkins.[4] Jackson testified that he asked to speak with Investigator Jenkins a second time because he "just really wanted to find out what was going on." At the close of the hearing, the circuit court continued the hearing and requested that the parties provide briefing on the motion to suppress-specifically, whether or not the probable cause hearing of section 99-3-28(1)(a) was applicable. Both parties complied and presented their arguments at the second hearing. The circuit court ultimately held that the mere fact that the student knew Jackson and that Jackson was a teacher at his school did not invoke the use of section 99-3-28(1)(a). At no point in the motion to suppress or during the hearing did Jackson's attorney allege the statement should be suppressed due to a violation of his invocation to an attorney. Jackson's argument stemmed solely from the alleged statutorily-required probable cause hearing.

         ¶11. The case was tried on May 21 through May 25, 2018. At trial, the jury heard testimony from K.B. He testified that he first met Jackson leaving school early one day. K.B. stated that Jackson asked him his name and age. The two later crossed paths again when K.B. was in the school play. K.B. was waiting for his ride after rehearsal, and Jackson asked him about his behavior at school and what kind of student he was. Their next interaction was through the "Kik" app on November 22, 2013. K.B. testified in detail to the instant messages and text messages between himself and Jackson, stating that Jackson offered him up to $275 to receive oral sex.

         ¶12. Investigator Jenkins testified that he initially read Jackson his Miranda rights and handed him a waiver form. He also testified that he goes through the waiver form with every detainee even if he or she has requested a lawyer. After Jackson invoked his right to an attorney, Investigator Jenkins wrote "requested lawyer" at the bottom of the form, had Jackson sign it, and left. He stated that Jackson asked to speak to him three and a half hours later, so he went back into the room where Jackson was being held. He testified that he provided Jackson with a second waiver form. The video of the second interview between Investigator Jenkins and Jackson was played for the jury. The defense did not object when the video was offered into evidence or when the video was played for the jury. The defense only objected after the jury watched the entire video.[5]

         ¶13. Sedrick Fenster also testified for the State. Fenster, a bail bondsmen, testified he had been friends with Jackson since the early 2000s. Over the years, Fenster was the sound technician for Jackson's school concerts and plays. He stated that in February 2014 he had been trying to call Jackson because he knew Jackson had an event happening soon. When Jackson finally called him back, he asked Fenster if he knew he had been arrested. Fenster said, "[N]o," and Jackson asked him to come over to his house. Fenster testified that, after he arrived at Jackson's home, Jackson admitted he had offered money to a student to receive oral sex.

         ¶14. The defense called Investigator Hardin as its only witness. She testified that K.B. and his mother came to the police department to report an incident where K.B. was getting messages from a teacher at Columbus High School. Investigator Hardin then testified that she took screen shots of ...


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