Court of Appeals rules on drug, civil case appeals

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – A Union County drug conviction was upheld Tuesday by the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
In June 2011, a jury convicted Pinkie Pulliam of two counts of selling cocaine.
He was sentenced to two 30-year terms to serve at the same time, with five years suspended.
Pulliam, who is black, appealed and claimed various circuit court errors cost him a chance at an acquittal.
Judge Larry Roberts, writing for the 9-0 court vote, noted that while the 47-member jury pool contained only three African-Americans, trial Judge Robert Elliott “commendably” reshuffled the names because the first order put the minorities near the end of the choices.
The opinion rejected Pulliam’s claims that the jury selection was improper or prejudicial against him, as well as other issues about overruled objections and sufficiency or weight of evidence to convict him.
In an unrelated case from Monroe County, the Court of Appeals also agreed 9-0 with Circuit Judge Thomas J. Gardner’s 2012 decision in a civil case.
Jerome and Arletha Woods sued Victory Marketing LLC, or Sprint Mart, after Jerome reported falling in the Amory store.
Gardner ruled in favor of Victory after its motion for asking the judge to agree with its side lay unopposed for three months.
After the judge agreed to reconsider, the Woods presented evidence supporting their claim but Gardner again found in favor of Victory Marketing.
The Woodses filed a second motion to reconsider, which the judge denied and they appealed.
Judge Jimmy Maxwell’s opinion said that under those circumstances, the Court of Appeals considers only whether Gardner abused his discretion.
While the Woodses brought forth new evidence for retrial, Maxwell said their appeal was their attempt for a third bite at the apple.
“The court did not abuse its discretion by denying them a third,” he wrote.
Both decisions could be appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com