Court of Appeals to hear cases at Ole Miss

By The Associated Press

OXFORD — It’s back to the road in April for the Mississippi Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel will hear arguments in two cases at the University of Mississippi.

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.

A panel of three Appeals Court judges will answer questions from Ole Miss students after the oral arguments, but will not talk about the cases which were argued.

The appeals are among dozens the Appeals Court will consider during its March-April term. Decisions are expected later this year.

Ole Miss Law School students participating in the Criminal Appeals Clinic will represent the defendants in the two cases.

The cases will be heard April 23 at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford.

The first case before the court is an appeal from Tazarius Cooper. Cooper was convicted in Washington County of statutory rape and drug possession.

A judge sentenced Cooper to three years on the rape conviction and two years for drug possession.

The second case is an appeal from Harrison Banks, who was ordered to pay $350,000 in damages to a man the courts claim he punched in the face in 2009.

Court records show Banks was acquitted of simple assault in 2011 in Oxford Municipal Court. However, a jury ruled Banks had to pay $350,000 in damages to Brandon Lockhart of Oxford.

According to court records, Lockhart claimed that on July 17, 2009, Banks punched him in the face multiple times in a parking lot in Oxford. Lockhart claimed he suffered serious injuries to his right eye and face that caused him to incur medical expenses and loss of wages.

Click video to hear audio