By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal
JACKSON – Gerald Jones will get a chance to appeal his Lafayette County conviction on sexual battery, the Mississippi Supreme Court agreed today 5-3.
In 2003, a jury convicted Jones of two counts of sexual battery and he was sentenced to two 25-year terms to run together. He claims he asked his court-appointed attorney, Thomas C. Levidiotis, to appeal his conviction to the state Supreme Court.
Apparently, Jones claims Levidiotis did not, saying he informed Jones that his duty to him ended with his conviction.
Today, Levidiotis said Jones’ claims about the appeal are “a lie.” He also said that no Bar action was ever taken in this instance because “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Jones went to work on his own behalf, and two years later, the circuit court asked for counsel to appeal for him. The court agreed and reappointed Levidiotis.
Ultimately, Jones’ appeal was dismissed because it wasn’t filed on time, without permission to do so.
Six years after his conviction, with permission to file an out-of-time appeal, Jones acted on his own and his request for a new hearing was granted by the Court of Appeals, and now the state Supreme Court.