Appeals court reverses Tippah County banishment decision

By Patsy R. Brumfield
Daily Journal

JACKSON – A Tippah County man’s appeal to lift his banishment from the Third Circuit District should get another look, the Mississippi Court of Appeals said Tuesday.

Wiley Carroll, appealing for himself, told the court that his ineffective trial counsel allowed him to agree to be banished from the area, which he deemed to be illegal.

His banishment was a condition of his post-release supervision after he served his nine-year sentence from a 2004 guilty plea to attempted robbery.

The appeals court said Circuit Judge Andrew Howorth erred in dismissing Carroll’s petition, saying “the record before us” does not show if Howorth addressed the banishment requirement.

The Jackson-based court reversed the banishment and returned it to Tippah County, although the state can appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

The banishment was part of the state’s agreement to allow Carroll’s guilty plea in exchange for dropping charges pending against him and his wife. He made no objection to the banishment at his plea hearing.

The plea transcript shows, the court said, that the banishment decision came to help Carroll with his rehabilitation, and that Carroll joined in the request.

Since Carroll’s sentencing, the Mississippi Supreme Court clarified the issue of banishment, saying a court must hold a hearing and make on-the-record findings.

In the 9-1 decision, written by Judge Eugene Fair, the Court of Appeals said on-the-record findings have been required since 2000, four years before Carroll’s sentencing.

Fair wrote that the case will go back to Howorth to reconsider whether the required standards for banishment are met.

As to Carroll’s claim of ineffective counsel, the appeals court said Carroll failed to provide any proof of his assertions.

Judge Virginia Carlton disagreed, writing that the trial record shows Howorth “sufficiently” stated his reasons for imposing the sentence and fully explained it to Carroll