Ryan Scott Perrigin a/k/a Ryan Perrigin v. State of Mississippi – (10-0) – Sexual Battery / Confrontation Clause – Perrigin was convicted of two counts of sexual batter of his daughter’s friend. The abuse was discovered when his son told a counselor at school that he witnessed Perrigin abuse the friend. On appeal, Perrigin challenges the weight and sufficiency of the evidence and violation of the confrontation clause. Perrigin claims that the confrontation clause was violated by the minor victim’s prior statements being introduced into evidence. The court of appeals disagreed, because Perrigin had the opportunity to cross-examine the victim at trial. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction.
Kindar Andre Green a/k/a Kindar Green v. State of Mississippi – (10-0) – Aggravated Domestic Violence – Lesser Included Offense Instruction – Green proceeded to trial on the charge of aggravated domestic violence as a violent habitual offender. At trial, the court refused his proffered jury instruction for the lesser included offense of simple domestic violence after finding there to be no evidentiary basis to support it. Green assault his wife by striking her with his fists, kicking her with steel toe boots, and telling her that he was going to kill her. When the police arrived, he was in the process of dragging her by her legs through the front yard. Her injuries included a fractured jaw and a detached retina. Because the evidence could only support the principal charge of aggravated assault, the court refused the lesser included instruction. The court of appeals found no error and affirmed the conviction.
Douglas Allen Taylor v. State of Mississippi – Sex Offender Registration Reversed and Remanded – As a registered sex offender, Taylor was found guilty of violating state law by living within 3,000 feet of a playground at a church down the street from his home. The core proof at trial was a Google Earth map that calculated the distance from Taylor’s house to the edge of the church property. At trial, the police officer who measured the distance from Taylor’s house to the edge of the church property testified that he used the Google Earth measuring application to calculate the distance shown, but the State offered no testimony to authenticate the measurement. The Court of appeals held that absent some evidence of Google Earth’s reliability and accuracy through either a Google Earth programmer or a witness who frequently works with and relies on the program, the map with the measurement calculation should not have been admitted into evidence. Because this was the only proof to support Taylor’s conviction, the case was reversed and remanded for a new trial.
Anton Colburn a/k/a Anton Marcell Colburn v. State of Mississippi – (6-4) – Evidence of Prior Conviction - Colburn was tried and convicted for sale of methamphetamine within 1,500 feet of a church. The trial court admitted into evidence Colburn’s prior 2006 conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to sell over his objection. Colburn argued that the prior conviction was improperly admitted under MRE 404(b) and 403, and unfairly prejudiced him at trial. At trial, the State argued that it sought to introduce the prior conviction from 2006 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in order to prove Colburn intentionally sold controlled substances to a confidential informant in the present case. Colburn argues his prior conviction was probative of his intent only through the prohibited propensity inference of Rule 404(b) that because he sold drugs in the past, he is more likely to do it again. He additionally argued that the prior conviction was unrelated and unconnected to the instant charge and too remote in time. The court of appeals disagreed with Colburn. It held that (1) the admission of prior drug convictions is proper to show the defendant’s intent to sell or distribute drugs and (2) that 13 years between the charges was not too remote in time from the current charge to prevent its admission.