Court considers appeals to property, abuse issues and others

A Starkville man’s property rezoning request will go back to Circuit Court in Oktibbeha County, the Mississippi Court of Appeals said this week.
The appeal by George C. McKee against the city of Starkville was one of several cases ruled upon by the court Tuesday.
Others included an Oxford fence dispute and affirmation of three defendant’s convictions and life sentences on child sexual abuse charges.
In the Starkville case, McKee asked the Board of Aldermen to rezone a piece of property next to the rear of 514 S. Washington St. from single-family duplex to multi-family high density so that he could expand his nearby apartment complex.
He sued in Circuit Court after his request was denied, but the court agreed with the city that his legal claims were without merit. He then appealed to the Court of Appeals.
Presiding Judge William Myers’ opinion said, in reversing the decision, that the Circuit Court should reconsider the facts that weren’t made part of the record.
In the Oxford fence case, William Alias Jr. appealed a circuit court of Lafayette County decision to uphold Oxford’s zoning variance for Grand Oaks neighbor Richard Elam’s privacy fence.
Judge Donna Barnes’ opinion, which vacated the circuit decision and dismissed the appeal, said the Circuit Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal from a city Planning Commission decision.
Chiefly, she wrote, Alias’ appeal was filed too late to be considered in Circuit Court.
In the criminal case, Chief Judge Leslie King wrote for the court to affirm the life sentences for Timothy W. Jordan, Glenn E. Grose and Johnny Grose.
The men were indicted in 2006 on charges of sexual battery, gratification of lust and child neglect on a 3-year-old child.
They appealed, raising several issues, but the court affirmed the Lafayette County Circuit Court’s decisions.

Patsy Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal