December 15, 2014

Multi-vehicle Accidents in Mississippi

car-crash-274334-m-3.jpgRecently, a tractor-trailer slammed into 11 cars that were stopped on a Mississippi coastal highway and killed a 49-year-old father and his 18-year-old daughter as well as two Louisiana men, ages 23 and 21. Four others were injured. A man was driving a Toyota Tundra that was pulling a trailer carrying computer equipment and lost control of the vehicle. The driver overcorrected, and the equipment spilled all over the interstate. Traffic stalled, and an 18-wheeler crashed into the stopped vehicles, affecting nine other vehicles. The scene was described as "overwhelming" and spanned about a quarter-mile of the eastbound lanes on the highway.

The debris and glass were strewn across the interstate. The crews cleared the road. The sheriff redirected traffic, and multiple emergency responders reported to the accident. The firefighters had to remove the bodies of the deceased and other accident victims using a Jaws of Life. The accident remains under investigation, and a reconstruction specialist will have to assess the accident to determine the cause of all the injuries. When tractor-trailers are involved in an accident, the resulting injuries are often devastating due to the size and weight of these vehicles.

Establishing fault in a multi-vehicle accident can be complex and challenging. Although the driver who spilled items on the road is probably at fault, other drivers including the tractor-trailer driver may bear some responsibility. Those injured in the accident can sue the responsible party if they can prove negligence. To prove negligence, they must show the defendant's duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that the plaintiff's own negligence does not bar his or her recovery, but damages will be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff's negligence.

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December 12, 2014

Deadly Shooting on Primos Avenue

On Thursday evening, an apparent domestic dispute left one man dead on Primos Avenue. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened sometime after 8:00 p.m. in the 800 block of Primos Avenue. Although very few details have been released, we know that 29-year-old Mario Tarrio was shot and killed inside of a house. At this time, his cousin, Melvin Tarrio, is being treated as a suspect. There's no word on whether or not any charges have been filed or what the motive could have been.

Incident Still Under Investigation with Authorities

According to the Jackson Police Department (JPD), the investigation is ongoing. Since we don't know the circumstances of what happened inside of the house, there's no telling if and when charges will be filed. At this time, it's also unclear what the struggle was about or which of the two men originally produced the gun.

Homicide Charges in Mississippi

The State of Mississippi takes murder and homicide incredibly serious. If convicted, you could be facing harsh sentences including up to life in prison with or without parole or even the death penalty. In addition to lengthy prison sentences, you could also be facing hefty fines. The best possible outcome of your case starts with contacting a proven criminal defense lawyer to advise and represent you during the lengthy and complicated legal process.

When to Call a Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with murder, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. No matter what the circumstances of your individual case were, proven and skilled representation is an absolute necessity. In Mississippi, people who are accused of murder could be facing up to life in prison or even the death penalty. Whether you've been charged or you've just been named as a suspect, getting in touch with a lawyer needs to be your first priority. Don't count on an overburdened public defender to have the time or resources available to aggressively defend your rights. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC send their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Mario Tarrio.

December 12, 2014

Semi Truck Crash in Madison County

On Wednesday morning, a tractor-trailer overturned in Madison County. Very few details have been released about the crash that happened on I-55, near Old Agency Road. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the overturned 18-wheeler spilled chemicals onto the roadway.

At this time, there's no word on what kind of chemicals the large truck was carrying. Thankfully, no other vehicles appeared to have been involved, and the driver was reportedly okay after the crash. Crews were on the scene for hours cleaning up the chemical spill. The cause of this wreck is still under investigation with authorities.

If you have been injured in a crash with a semi truck, call the skilled personal injury team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free consultation today.

December 8, 2014

Mississippi Appellate Court Affirms Verdict for Lift Distributor

futuristic-lift-interior-1340694-m.jpgIn the recent Mississippi appellate case Howell v. Equipment Inc., a man working as a laborer at a jobsite suffered severe injuries when the platform of a scissor lift he was working on fell 12-15 feet. He hit his head, broke his ribs, and injured his shoulder, face, and brain. The lift was a work platform that rose vertically in an "X." There was a bridge on the platform that permitted the person on it to get closer to the work area. The man was on the bridge when it collapsed, landing on him.

The lift distributor bought the scissor lift from the manufacturer and sold the lift to the plaintiff's employer in 1993. The lift manufacturer was scheduled to perform yearly inspections, but these inspections were performed only erratically. On the day before the accident in question, an employee of the lift distributor had performed a service call because there was a steering problem associated with the lift at issue.

The man and his wife sued the manufacturer and lift distributor for negligence. They claimed that the manufacturer had negligently manufactured the lift and that the lift distributor had negligently maintained the lift during routine maintenance checks. The plaintiffs argued that there no weight-capacity decal in connection on the bridge and that the employee should have seen it was missing when he came out for the service call the day before. They also pointed on that certain components were bent and presented another safety issue.

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December 5, 2014

25 Pounds of Marijuana Confiscated During Drug Arrest

Earlier this week, officers with the Jackson Police Department (JPD) confiscated 25 pounds of pot during an arrest. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened off of Interstate 55. Narcotics officers were allegedly given a tip about a huge drug bust. Although very few details about the investigation and arrest have been made available, we do know that law enforcement officers arrested 39-year-old Alrick Manning during a traffic stop, after finding money in his car.

$28,000 Worth of Marijuana Found

Investigators and trained drug-search dogs then went to the hotel room where Manning was staying, the Extended Stay on I-55. WJTV News Channel 12 also reports that they found 25 pounds of weed and about $23,000 in cash. The street value of the marijuana is estimated at about $28,000. No information has been released about the charges facing Manning or whether or not he has been released on bail.

Drug Bust Arrests in Jackson

Depending upon the amount of drugs you're busted with and what type, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Jackson. In Mississippi, 30 grams or less of Marijuana is a misdemeanor. Anything over that, and you're looking at felony charges and potentially heavy sentences. In larger quantities, you can be hit with a variety of additional charges too, like intent to distribute and paraphernalia.

Mandatory Minimums

With the so-called "War on Drugs" and truth-in-sentencing laws, even first time offenders can get slapped with lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. It doesn't matter if you've never been arrested before in your life. You could be facing ten years or more in a federal penitentiary, for what basically could have been a victimless crime.

When to Call a Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has arrested and charged with felony possession or intent to distribute, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better. Don't waste time working with an overburdened public defender, call the proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 today.

December 1, 2014

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents in Mississippi

open-sky-two-1426373-m.jpgThe recent Mississippi appellate case Elliot v. First Security Bank arose out of a slip and fall. A woman sued a bank for a shoulder injury she experienced after falling on the sidewalk in front of the bank. She and her son had gone to a restaurant downtown to eat. They couldn't find parking in front of the restaurant, and the woman had a whiskey drink before dinner. After dinner, the woman and her son went back to the car. As she walked to the passenger side of the car, she tripped on the uneven pavement and fell. Although the sidewalk is owned by the city, the bank maintained an easement on it.

The woman got medical care at the local hospital. Doctors told her she had hurt her rotator cuff. She had surgery to repair her rotator cuff and went to physical therapy. The woman asserted that the injury led to medical bills, as well as job loss. The woman sued the city and the bank. She argued that, even though there was no mutual benefit to her being on the sidewalk, she should still be considered the bank's invitee. Premises liability law requires property owners to show the highest degree of care towards invitees. The woman also argued that the city's duty should be imputed to the bank because it owned a sidewalk easement. The woman settled with the city during mediation.

The bank filed a motion for summary judgment. It argued it didn't have a duty to the woman at all because it was closed, she wasn't using the ATM, and she wasn't doing business at the bank. She was only there because her car was parked there, and therefore she was not an invitee.

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November 26, 2014

Aggravated Assault Arrests in Vicksburg

On Tuesday, two people were arrested in connection with a shooting that happened in Vicksburg over the weekend. According to WJTV News Channel 12, three people were shot at a house party around midnight, in the 3100 block of Washington. All three victims were treated and released from the hospital.

Billdevon Shelton, 18-years-old, was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault on Tuesday, and 21-year-old Roderick Burden Jr. was also arrested and charged with felon being in possession of a firearm. Very few details have been released about the arrest, but WJTV News Channel 12 did report that the investigation is ongoing. If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault, contact the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today.

November 26, 2014

Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Highway 78

Early Saturday morning, a pedestrian was struck and killed in Union County. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened on Highway 78, near mile marker 57. For currently unknown reasons, the unidentified pedestrian was struck while walking in the westbound lane of the highway. Sadly, the victim died on the scene.

Very few details have been released about this crash, and authorities are still trying to determine the identity of the victim. WJTV News Channel 12 did not comment on whether or not the driver remained on the scene or if there were any contributing factors to this crash.

Law enforcement officials are still trying to identify the male victim who is described as a middle-aged white male, dressed in a plaid shirt, khaki pants and wearing tennis shoes. Anybody with information on the pedestrian's identity is encouraged to call the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Just the Facts on Pedestrian Accidents

• In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes.
• In 2011, 4,457 pedestrians were killed in crashes.
• An estimated 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012.
• In 2012, nearly three-fourths of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban settings.
• 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities happened at nighttime in 2012.

Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths in Jackson

Pedestrians are one of the few roadway users groups that continue to see an increase in injury causing and fatal crashes each year. Unfortunately, they just don't have much protection in the event of a crash. Even cyclists have helmets. Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable when it comes to traffic accidents.

After a Pedestrian Accident

After any kind of car accident, you need to take care of your health first. If you aren't transported to the hospital from the scene, make sure to follow up with your doctor for an evaluation. With adrenaline pumping after a crash, a lot of injuries can go undetected. It might be hours before you start feeling poorly. Once your immediate medical needs have been addressed, you can call a personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for a free case consultation today.

November 24, 2014

Mississippi Government Entity Not Liable for Dangerous Property Condition

longlife-light-bulb-2-1331264-m.jpgIn Serrano v. Lauren Housing Authority, a Mississippi plaintiff sued a government entity that managed her apartment complex after a fluorescent light box in her kitchen apartment fell, resulting in pieces of drywall hitting her. She sued for breach of implied warranty of habitability as well as premises liability. The apartment complex was managed by the government entity Laurel Housing Authority. The government entity argued that it didn't know, nor should it have known, that the light box would fall and hit someone.

Under Mississippi Code Annotated section 11-46-9(1)(v), a government entity has immunity from liability for dangerous property conditions unless a plaintiff can show notice of the dangerous condition. In this case, the plaintiff had to prove the government entity had actual or constructive notice of the light box in her apartment in order to recover damages. The trial was bifurcated so that the first phase would turn on the issue of liability, and only if the government entity was found liable would the plaintiff be able to present her evidence about damages.

The plaintiff argued that the government knew the light boxes were too heavy for the particular spot in the kitchen where they were hung. The units in the plaintiff's complex had been renovated, and during the renovations, the same type of fluorescent light was installed in each unit. The plaintiff agreed that the government hadn't actually installed the light boxes, but she argued that the government did recognize the fixtures were too heavy for the drywall and was replacing them.

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November 21, 2014

MSU Football Player Arrested

Early Friday morning, a defensive back for the Mississippi State University's football team was arrested in connection with a domestic violence and burglary call. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened sometime around 3:00 a.m. at the Aspen Heights apartment complex on Rocky Road.

Justin Cox, 21 years old, was arrested on the scene and charged with aggravated domestic violence and suspicion of burglary of a dwelling. Very few details have been released, but WJTV News did report that there was a woman with a head injury on the scene.

If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence or burglary charges, contact an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer questions about your case.

November 17, 2014

Failure to Warn of a Roommate With A Criminal Record in Mississippi

city-construction-series-619504-m.jpgA recent appellate case arose when a man murdered his roommate, Andreas Galanis, in their apartment in Mississippi. The victim's mother and sister sued the murderer as well as the company that owned the apartment complex. They argued that the owner of the apartments negligently failed to warn the victim of the murderer's violent tendencies.

The company that owned the apartments began leasing apartments at the complex in 2006. It marketed the apartments to college students, and among the original tenants was the murderer. The owner hired a management company to manage the apartments. The company instituted a policy of performing background checks on everyone who applied for new leases and those tenants who renewed their leases with an outside service.

When an applicant was not eligible to lease an apartment or renew a lease because of prior criminal history, the applicant received a letter about the negative results, but the owner did not receive a list regarding the criminal record. The murderer in this case sought to renew his lease in 2007, and his background check showed a prior criminal history. The owner told him his renewal application was denied. His attorney sent a letter to the owner, explaining he wasn't a convicted felon and that he's only been charged with credit card fraud. Although he had pled guilty, his case was non-adjudicated, which meant he had submitted to probation but wasn't convicted. As a result, he was permitted to renew the lease.

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November 14, 2014

Jackson Van Crash on Lynch Street

On Tuesday morning, a van crash on Lynch Street sent two elderly people to the hospital. According to WJTV News Channel 12, a van somehow fell off of Interstate 220 and onto Lynch Street in Jackson. The incident happened at around 7:30 a.m.

Very few details have been released, but we do know that a 75-year-old man was driving the vehicle at the time. There was some concern that he suddenly became ill while driving or had some type of medical issue when he veered off of the interstate roadway. The automobile flipped over and landed onto Lynch Street. The driver and a 77-year-old woman that was a passenger were taken to UMC for treatment of injuries.

There's no word on their conditions or the extent of their injuries. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC wishes them both speedy and full recoveries.

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November 14, 2014

Woman Arrested in Pearl for 20 Pounds of Heroin

On November 10, 2014, a woman was arrested in Pearl, and 20 pounds of heroin was confiscated during the arrest. It was an estimated $1 million worth of drugs. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened on the Monday afternoon around 4:40 p.m. during a traffic stop. Apparently, 46-year-old Ana Yesenia Garcia of Friendswood, Texas was pulled over, and for currently unknown reasons, a search of her vehicle was conducted. Law enforcement officers found 20 bundles of heroin, weighing a combined total of about 20 pounds.

$1 Million in Drugs Seized

Officials estimate that the drugs are valued at over $1 million. Initial reports suspect that it may have been pure white heroin from South America, more specifically, Columbia. At this time, there's no word on why Garcia was stopped in the first place or why her vehicle was searched. Very few details about the arrest have been released. Garcia was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Law enforcement officials believe that this may have been the largest Heroin bust from a traffic stop on record for Mississippi.

Felony Drug Charges in Mississippi

This certainly isn't your average possession case. If you're busted with upwards of 20 pounds of any kind of controlled substance, you're facing drug charges in Federal courts. A variety of drug charges also carry mandatory minimum sentences, which means even first time offenders can get locked up for a very long time, regardless of the circumstances of the case. Additionally, a federal case is going to be much more complicated than a case held in State courts.

After a Drug Arrest

If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver or distribute, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. Don't trust your freedom and your future to a public defender who does not have the time or resources to make sure your case is successful. Contact the proven criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for a case consultation today at (601) 948-1600.

November 10, 2014

Mississippi Supreme Court Rules on Presenting Evidence of Underinsured Motorist Coverage

rear-screen-1368755-m.jpgIn Heflin v. Merrill, the Mississippi Supreme Court considered an underinsured motorist case. The plaintiff sued her underinsured motorist insurance carrier after a car accident. The underinsured motorist carrier admitted liability and agreed to pay damages that were awarded, but the plaintiff wanted to tell the jury that the insurance company was a defendant.

The case arose when a man crashed into the back of a couple's car. The wife sued the man's estate and her underinsured motorist carrier. Before trial, the carrier admitted liability and offered to stipulate in writing that the wife was an insured under its policy and it would pay the final judgment in excess of the estate's liability coverage. The insurer moved to exclude any reference about its role in the trial and exclude evidence that the woman's car had underinsured motorist coverage. The trial court granted the carrier's motion, reasoning that the underinsured motorist coverage was irrelevant to the issues to be considered at trial. It also reasoned that introducing evidence of the issue or revealing that the carrier was part of the trial might prejudice the jury when it determined damages.

During the trial, the defense made two objections regarding the at-fault driver's statement he was sorry for the accident and the husband's opinion about how fast the at-fault driver's car was going. The husband was prepared to testify as to the apology, but the defense objected on grounds of hearsay. The trial judge sustained the objection. The trial judge noted that the statement wasn't hearsay but still excluded it, saying that the person who made the statement was deceased and the defendant had admitted liability, so the statement would only inflame the jury.

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November 7, 2014

32 Arrested in Marijuana Grow Bust

WJTV News Channel 12 recently issued a press release regarding the arrest of 32 people in association with a statewide marijuana-growing bust. Apparently, this was part of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics' annual anti-marijuana-growing campaign. Very few details have been released, but they're also saying that the pot was being grown in 21 different counties across the state.

Airborne Marijuana Spotters

Officials with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), in association with the Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi Highway Patrol, utilized helicopters and other aircraft in efforts to "spot" grow operations from the air. All in all, ground agents seized 1,367 plants and charged suspects with manufacture of marijuana. This was part of an outdoor domestic cannabis eradication program funded by a grant from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Controversial and Illegal Marijuana Growing Operations

Although the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is slowly becoming legalized across the country, that doesn't impact what's going on in Mississippi. It's still illegal to use and grow marijuana in the state, which means that these 32 suspects are most likely facing felony charges. If convicted, they could be facing harsh sentences in federal court.

When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of weed or manufacturing cannabis, you need to call a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Depending upon the charges and how much pot you were arrested with, you could be facing misdemeanor and/or felony charges. You may feel like the system is totally unjust as you see other states across the country allow their citizens to use marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, but in the eyes of the law in Mississippi, you're in hot water.

After a Drug Arrest

If you're facing drug charges, you need to call a lawyer swiftly. Don't trust your fate to an overburdened public defender though. You need to speak with an attorney who will fight for your freedom and your future. It isn't enough for a law firm to just advertise that they have experience. It's absolutely essential to pick a law firm with proven results. At Coxwell & Associates we prove we have experience by putting our cases and successes on our website. The skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer your questions at (877) 231-1600, or locally at 601-948-1600.