Conviction upheld; sentence changed

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The Mississippi Court of Appeals has upheld a Brookhaven man’sconviction on drug possession charges, but ordered his sentencemodified to reduce the amount of time he will serve on post releasesupervision.

In a ruling handed down Tuesday, the court affirmed Braydon ColeStigall’s conviction on Feb. 22, 2002, in Lincoln County CircuitCourt for possession of at least 238 dosage units of diazepam withintent to distribute.

Stigall, 24, of 615 Urban Lane, was ordered by Judge Mike Smithto serve the first 10 years of a total 20-year sentence and a$25,000 fine. The last 10 were to be served on post releasesupervision.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In his appeal, Stigall argued that he was denied a fair andimpartial jury because the defense had to use one of its sixchallenges to exclude a potential juror. He also said the trialcourt erred in allowing the prosecution to define the termreasonable doubt. The appeals court rejected both claims.

The court, however, did address an issue not raised in theappeal. Under statute, the court said the maximum amount of time aperson may be placed under post-release supervision is fiveyears.

“The imposition of a 10-year term is in clear violation ofstatute, and we must reverse and remand to the trial court for thesole purpose of entering a correct order with respect to thepost-release supervision portion of the sentence,” said Judge JamesE. Thomas, writing for the court.