Miss. Appeals Court sets November-December cases

Published 1:14 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

The state Court of Appeals goes on the road in November with oral arguments scheduled on two cases at Mississippi State University.

The court will convene Nov. 18 at the Hunter Henry Center on the MSU campus in Starkville.

The Appeals Court periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses and occasionally at other locations as a teaching tool for students. It is known as the “Court on the Road” program.

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Appeals Court judges answer questions from students after the oral arguments, but do not talk about the cases that are argued.

Earlier this year, the Appeals Court heard cases at Mississippi Valley State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

At MSU, third-year law school students from the University of Mississippi’s criminal appeals program will present arguments on behalf of Eric DeShawn Jackson.

Jackson is serving a life sentence for his 2009 conviction in Warren County. He was convicted in the 2008 deaths of a pregnant mother, her unborn child and a man.

Prosecutors said the slayings occurred after a dispute over a video game.

Jackson was convicted of three counts of murder by depraved heart in the shooting deaths of 25-year-old Denise Jackson, her unborn baby boy and 25-year-old Preston Qualls.

Prosecutors said Eric Jackson, who was not related to Denise Jackson, got into a dispute at a Vicksburg home about a video game with the brother of Denise Jackson’s fiance.

Authorities said Eric Jackson was forced to leave the home, but later returned and opened fire outside the home with an AK-47.

Details of the second case to be heard at MSU were not available.

Among other cases the Appeals Court will consider during the November-December term are:

— The appeal of a judge’s ruling that subdivision covenants will not hinder the Oxford Church of Christ in moving to a new site north of town. The judge in 2009 ruled in favor of property owners Ernest and Bonnie Harland. His ruling said covenants on the 12-acre site the Harlands purchased in the Long Meadow subdivision would not prohibit the building of a church there.

The Long Meadow Homeowners’ Association argued that their covenants allow only for the building of single-family homes. They objected after Ernest Harland, an elder in the Church of Christ, purchased the property with the church in mind. The homeowners’ association appealed the ruling.

— Eddie Lee Saunders’ appeal of his conviction for his role in the 2008 slaying of a Hattiesburg teen. Saunders was convicted in 2009 in Forrest County of murder in the death of 17-year-old Charles Moore. He was sentenced to life in prison.

— Kevin Dale McCain’s appeal of his 2009 conviction of bank robbery in Warren County. McCain was sentenced to life in prison as a habitual offender. He was convicted of robbing the Halls Ferry branch of Trustmark Bank in January 2008. Prosecutors said McCain had been convicted at least four other times for bank robberies from 2003 to 2007 and served time at a federal penitentiary.

— The post-conviction petition of James Bergeron of Metairie, La., who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2002 shooting death of Sue Ann Harper. The Mississippi Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal in 2005. Bergeron was convicted of manslaughter in 2002 in Adams County.