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.

November 7, 2014

Deadly I-20 Wreck in Jackson

On Thursday morning, a deadly crash happened on I-20 and I-55 in Jackson. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the collision happened near the McDowell Road exit. At this time, very few details have been released, but we do know that one person was pronounced dead on the scene.

First responders, including officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, rushed to the scene, which was near exit 44. The victim was a male in his mid-20's, but there's no word on how the crash happened. The cause of this crash is likely still under investigation with authorities. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC sends the family members and friends of the deceased their deepest condolences.

Last week a past client and friend of Coxwell & Associates was also involved in a serious accident. We all drive so much and so often I think we take for granted how deadly cars can be and how quickly an accident or collision can happen. Events like this make me rethink my standards of carefulness. At Coxwell & Associates we have years of experience helping people who were seriously injured in auto accident, 18 wheeler accidents, accidents caused by drunk drivers, and other such injuries. We hate to see anyone injured but if it happens, we are pleased to help our clients recover the full measure of money for their harms and losses that is allowed by law. Call us for a free consultation at 601-948-1600.

November 3, 2014

Bystander Claim of Emotional Distress in Mississippi Electrocution Case

farm-field-views-1444357-m.jpgThe Supreme Court of Mississippi recently ruled in the case of Entergy Mississippi v. Mary Bethanne Acey. In the case, a minor was electrocuted on somebody else's farmland. A man who worked for the owners of the land had parked his cotton picker under a sagging power line owned by Entergy Mississippi. The minor had climbed onto the picker, touched the power line, and suffered electrocution.

The man's deposition showed that he and his son weren't aware that the minor and the owner's daughter were playing nearby. The man's son saw a flash out of the corner of his eye. The man and his son began running towards the flash and found the minor on top of the picker. The son was able to move the minor and hand her to the man, who held her until the emergency responders arrived.

When the accident happened, the minor's mother was driving to Moon Lake with her son and boyfriend. The 911 dispatcher called the boyfriend, who turned the car around. The dispatcher explained what had happened. The minor's mother saw smoke coming out of her daughter's skin, her skin flaking, fingers missing, and bones exposed, and she smelled burning flesh. The emergency responders arrived after the mother did.

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October 31, 2014

Two Arrests for Jackson Car Burglary

Two arrests have been made in connection with a car burglary that happened in Jackson on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident occurred around the 4500 block of I-55 north, near Highland Village. Apparently, the burglary involved a 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Shortly after the alleged burglary, one of the suspects was apprehended during a traffic stop, and the second suspect was arrested in connection with a residence search in the 100 block of Dewitt Street.

In addition to burglary charges, there were also stolen weapons charges. Law enforcement officials haven't located the third and final suspect associated with the burglary. If you or a loved one is facing any kind of criminal charges, included auto burglary, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for a consultation today.

October 31, 2014

Fatal Lincoln County Crash

A deadly crash in Lincoln County took the lives of four people and sent six others to the hospital. Three of the people who lost their lives were teenagers from the local community. According to WJTV News Channel 12, this two-car crash happened sometime just before 11:00 p.m. on Friday night. The collision occurred on U.S. 84 at lower Meadville Road near Brookhaven. Very few details have been released about how this crash happened, but we do know that a Dodge Stratus was struck by a pickup truck.

Lincoln County Crash Still Under Investigation

At least three of the four people who died were in the Dodge Stratus, and at least three people from the pickup truck were transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries. Their injuries were described as moderate to life-threatening, but there's no word on anybody's current condition. This crash remains under investigation with law enforcement officials with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Leading Cause of Death for U.S. Teens

Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens across the country. In 2011, around 2,650 teens were killed in car crashes in the U.S., and nearly 292,000 teenagers were sent to the emergency room due to car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although teens account for only about 14 percent of the U.S. population, they account for about 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and about 28 percent of the total costs for motor vehicle injuries in females.

Increasing Teen Driver Safety

There are a variety of potential safety issues facing teen drivers in Mississippi and across the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages parents to talk to their teen drivers about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, and the dangers of having additional teen passengers in the car. Teens are also encouraged to buckle up for every trip, no matter how far they're going.

The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC sends their deepest heartfelt condolences to the family members and friends of those who lost their lives. We also wish speedy and full recoveries to everybody who was injured in this terrible crash.

October 24, 2014

National School Bus Safety Week

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is currently observing National School Bus Safety Week. According to WJTV News Channel 12, officials with the MDOT are encouraging motorists and parents to take part by practicing safe school bus precautions and talking to children about school bus safety this week. School buses are actually the safest way to get children to and from school each day. They're large, highly visible vehicles that are designed to keep kids safe in the event of a crash. Actually, the most dangerous part of riding a school bus is boarding and exiting the vehicle.

The Danger Zone

Most school bus related injuries and deaths happen in the "danger zone." The danger zone is a ten-foot bubble around the entire bus. These injuries and deaths typically happen when boarding or exiting the bus, when bus drivers don't see children. Parents are reminded to talk to their kids about the danger zone, and tell them how to stay safe when boarding and getting off of the bus.

Tips for Kids

• Never walk behind the bus.
• Walk at least three big steps away from the side of the bus when walking around it and take at least five big steps when in front of it.
• If you drop something, tell the bus driver. Don't try to pick it up first. Let the driver know that you need to bend down to find your item.
• Make sure the bus driver can see you when you're walking in front of the bus. Make eye contact.

School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists

• Don't text and drive or participate in any other kind of distracted driving behavior.
• Don't overtake a school bus, unless you are on a highway or interstate with multiple lanes.
• Be mindful of pedestrians and children at bus stops and crosswalks.
• Red flashing lights means that children are boarding or exiting.
• Yellow flashing lights means the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children.

After a Bus Accident

Although school buses are statistically the safest way to get your children to and from school, they're not totally without risk. If your child has been injured in or around a school bus, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer your questions about school bus accidents.

October 24, 2014

Suspects in Armed Carjacking Investigation Arrested

The remaining suspect in an armed carjacking that happened in September was arrested on Tuesday. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Monterrio Short, Tomokio Brock, Keisha Davis, Marquis Davis and Michael Gross were all considered suspects in the September 29, 2014 carjacking that happened on I-55, near a South Jackson apartment building.

Initially, police officers arrested Keisha Davis, Marquis Davis and Michael Gross within hours of the carjacking. On Monday, Tomokio Brock surrendered himself to law enforcement officers in connection with the crime, and on Tuesday the final suspect was arrested. Very few details have been released about these arrests, but if you or a loved one is facing armed carjacking charges in Jackson, contact our skilled criminal defense team as soon as possible.

And as a post script, it is worth mentioning that armed car jacking, along with armed robbery, and any other violent crime or crime committed with the use of the weapon, has enhanced penalties. If you get convicted of one of these crimes you can get a LONG LONG time in jail, and you half to serve at least 50% of your sentence before you get any benefit like earned time, good time, ect. Crimes committed with weapons, and violent crimes in general are punished very harshly. Don't ruin your life! Being broke and free is better than getting half your life committed to the Mississippi State Penitentiary Hotel, where you do get three bad meals a day, daily excitement in the form of crowded confinement, angry men who are bored to death and who might want to hurt you.

Be smart and don't commit the crime. If you make a poor decision and get in trouble, visit our website and you can see examples of Coxwell & Associates's lawyers who have real experience helping people. While many T.V. and internet lawyers tout their experience, at Coxwell & Associates we put before you the real cases so you can see our experience and dedication to our client's legal needs.

October 21, 2014

Do Mississippi Stores Have a Duty to Erect Barriers in a Parking Lot?

rover-detail-2-179751-m.jpgIn Cheeks v. AutoZONE, Inc., a Mississippi plaintiff was going into an AutoZone store when he was hit by a car driven by Jason Johnson. The plaintiff and a friend had gone to the store to buy car parts. The store had parking on two sides of the building. The building had a glass entryway that connected the storefront to a masonry wall. There were bollards on the storefront side and a raised sidewalk. However, cars on the north side faced a mostly solid wall. On the north side, there was no storefront, no raised sidewalks, nor any bollards. The plaintiff parked on the north side.

As the plaintiff opened the entrance door to the store, Johnson's car was driving towards him. Before he could get behind a bollard for protection, the plaintiff was hit by Johnson's car. He had serious injuries and sued both Johnson and the auto parts store. In the plaintiff's view, the bollards were there to protect pedestrians on the raised walkway. On the morning of trial, the parties dismissed Johnson from the suit.

The plaintiff testified at trial that he had been working on 2-3 cars at his shop when his friend came to visit. They went to pick up a car jack and decided to stop at AutoZone to buy parts for cars. It was drizzling when they parked at the store. He knew that the bollards protected the storefront but not the other side. He also testified that he believed the bollards were there to stop a car from getting onto the sidewalk. He heard his friend warn him of Johnson's oncoming car as he was walking up the handicap ramp. He had only a couple of seconds to react, and a store video showed that he tried to get protection behind a bollard.

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October 17, 2014

Woman in Jackson Arrested for Burglary

A woman has recently been arrested in connection with a house burglary that occurred on September 30, 2014. The Pearl Police Department has been looking for the suspect for weeks. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Zaria Khaleela Harris is now in custody. Additionally, two other people with outstanding misdemeanors warrants were picked up during her arrest.

There's no word on exactly what charges Harris is facing at this point, but burglary is likely one of them. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with burglary, theft or larceny, you need to speak with a proven criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you're facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need a lawyer who takes your freedom and your future seriously. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer your questions at (601) 948-1600.

October 17, 2014

Pedestrians Killed by Train in Hazlehurst

Last week, two people were killed after being struck by a Canadian National train in Hazlehurst. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened at about 6:15 p.m. on Friday, October 10, 2014. For currently unknown reasons, one man and two children were sitting on train tracks near the Frost Street intersection prior to being struck. Sadly, the adult and one child were killed in collision, and the other child was rushed to UMC for treatment of injuries.

Deadly Train Crash Under Investigation

Andrew Gilmore, 43 years old, took his cousins three-year-old Rashad and four-year-old Rene out for a snack on Friday. There was some concern that Gilmore had a medical condition that lead to sitting on the train tracks. Initial reports indicate that the horn was blown. This tragic crash is still under investigation with the Hazlehurst Police Department, the Copiah County Coroner and CN Police.

Accidents Involving Trains and Pedestrians

Pedestrian versus train accidents rarely end well. There's just no way to take on a vehicle that big, no matter how fast it's moving. Even at relatively low speeds, a collision with a train can be deadly. They can't stop on a dime either, so even if an engineer is trying to stop the train, it may not prevent injury or death to the pedestrian. The most important part of any train accident investigation is determining if all crossing arms, signals and lights were working at the time of the crash.

Pedestrian Accidents

Whether a train or a car has injured them, pedestrians who suffer personal injuries are often out of work and in the hospital. Pedestrians don't have the benefit of seatbelts, air bags or steel cages. They are one of the most vulnerable roadway user groups, especially child pedestrians. If your medical bills are piling up and you are recovering from injuries after a pedestrian accident, it's time to contact an attorney. Getting your life back together starts with a call to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Jackson. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC sends their deepest condolences to the Gilmore family and wishes a speedy and full recovery to Rene Gilmore.

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October 15, 2014

Apartment's Liability for Third Party Attacks in Mississippi

iron-fence-1397500-m.jpgIn Bennett v. Highland Park Apartments, LLC, a woman and her minor children were tenants of an apartment complex. They were at home with a friend when around 8 pm, three people came into the apartment complex through an unguarded gate and forced their way into the apartment. The burglars asked where she kept drugs and money, and the woman and the guest were injured. The burglars left the property and were not apprehended.

The woman sued on behalf of herself and the kids against the apartment complex and the apartment manager. She claimed severe injuries and emotional and mental duress. The woman claimed she and her kids were invitees of the complex and that the complex failed in its duty to adequately and reasonably protect them as people who lived in the community. She claimed the complex failed to fix the gates, lighting, and surveillance cameras and failed to hire security guards. The complex denied it breached a duty owed to the woman or her kids or was otherwise responsible for the burglary.

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