A 25-year armed robbery sentence for a Corinth man will stand, the Mississippi Court of Appeals ruled in a decision handed down Tuesday.
Taderrius Scruggs, 27, appealed the March 2019 conviction and sentence stemming from a trial in Alcorn County Circuit Court on the argument that he was detained without reasonable suspicion while the robbery victim was brought to his location for a possible identification, in violation of his right to be free of an unlawful “seizure” under the Fourth Amendment. He also argued that the victim’s positive identification and Scruggs’ subsequent statements to police were inadmissible as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Scruggs also claimed ineffective counsel because his lawyer did not seek to exclude the evidence at trial.
Along with affirming the conviction, the court dismissed Scruggs’ ineffective-assistance claim without prejudice.
The crime occurred on April 7, 2015, when a man who was cleaning his car in his carport on Waldron Street was approached by two men walking down the street. One pointed a handgun at him while the other took the victim’s wallet – which was empty – and cell phone from his vehicle. The men then ran away.
In an interview with police, Scruggs said he robbed the man “to get [his] girl out of jail,” according to the written opinion from the Court of Appeals.
The circuit court trial judge was John White. The sentence was 40 years with 15 years suspended, leaving 25 years to serve.
Scruggs, who was 21 at the time of the crime and had no prior offenses on his record, began serving his sentence in April 2019 and has a tentative release date in March 2044. He is incarcerated at the Carroll County Correctional Facility.