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Kendrick Bass a/k/a Ken Bass v. State of Mississippi
Case Number: 2019-KA-01392-COA
Judge: Jim M. Greenlee
Court: IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
Plaintiff's Attorney: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: JEFFREY A. KLINGFUSS
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Tunica, MS - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant Kendrick Bass charged with one count of statutory rape of a child under the age of fourteen and one count of fondling.
¶2. After allegations that thirteen-year-old Jane1 was raped, twenty-year-old Bass was
arrested on September 15, 2016. On February 7, 2017, Bass was indicted for one count of
statutory rape of a child under the age of fourteen and one count of fondling. Following three
mistrials, Bass proceeded to trial on July 15, 2019.2
¶3. At Bass’s trial, Bernadette Logan, the Captain of Investigations of the Tunica County
Sheriff’s Office, testified that on September 12, 2016, she was informed that Jane, a thirteenyear-old girl, had allegedly been raped by two men at her mother’s residence in Tunica,
Mississippi. Captain Logan responded to the residence and spoke with Jane’s mother. Jane’s
mother testified that she had learned about the incident from a neighbor, Laroy Jackson. And
when she (Jane’s mother) questioned Jane, Jane indicated that Kendrick Bass and Demarcus
Clinton had been involved.
We use pseudonyms to protect the victim’s identity.
2 Bass’s first trial began on July 17, 2017; however, a mistrial was declared on July
27, 2017, because it came to light that a juror’s daughter was friends with Jane and Jane’s
mother. Bass’s second trial began on April 10, 2019; however, a mistrial was declared on
April 22, 2019, after Bass engaged in improper contact with Jane. Bass’s third trial began
on June 10, 2019; however, a mistrial was declared on June 21, 2019, because there were
not enough jurors to proceed.
¶4. Captain Logan testified that Jane was presented with two photo lineups and instructed
to circle the photos of the men who had sexual intercourse with her. Jane circled photos of
Bass and Clinton. Captain Logan testified that ultimately Bass was arrested.3 Finally, she
testified that Bass waived his constitutional rights during an interview and admitted that he
had sexual intercourse with Jane.4
¶5. Jane testified that, on the night of the incident, Clinton texted her and asked if he
could come over. Around midnight, Clinton climbed through Jane’s bedroom window, and
Bass followed him inside. Jane wondered whyBass was there because she had not expected
him. According to Jane, the three of them talked, and then Bass and Clinton began touching
her. Jane indicated that she resisted, but they forced themselves on her. According to Jane,
while Clinton had sexual intercourse with her, Bass sat on the side of the bed and touched
her breasts. Then Bass had sexual intercourse with her. Jane testified that afterward she was
afraid to tell anyone about what had happened.
¶6. On cross-examination, Jane suggested that she had partially recanted in a letter, but
she testified that it pertained to the “other person,” presumably Clinton. At that point, the
prosecutor objected on the basis of relevancy. Outside the presence of the jury, the
prosecutor explained that Clinton’s attorney had previously given him a copy of a note in
which Jane stated that Clinton did not rape her. According to the prosecutor, at a prior
hearing, Jane and her mother testified that Jane wrote the note because Clinton’s relatives
We note that Bass and Clinton were co-indictees.
Relevant portions of the recorded interview were played for the jury.
had threatened her. And according to the prosecutor, the note did not mention Bass. The
judge asked Bass’s attorney, “Is that - - As far as you know, is that accurate . . . ?” Defense
counsel responded, “Yes, sir.” Neither the attorneys nor the court had a copy of the note.
Ultimately, the court sustained the State’s objection and stated, “Obviously, ifit had involved
Mr. Bass, it’d be a different story.”
¶7. After considering the evidence presented at trial, the jury found Bass guilty of
statutory rape of a child under fourteen years of age and fondling. For his statutory-rape
conviction, the court sentenced Bass to serve twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (MDOC), provided that ten years of such sentence shall be
suspended and that Bass shall be placed on probation. For his fondling conviction, the court
sentenced Bass to serve ten years in MDOC custody. The court ordered Bass’s sentences to
run concurrently. The court also ordered Bass to register as a sex offender and to pay a
$1,000 fine, $500 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, $350 to the general fund of
Tunica County, and all court costs.
¶8. On December 18, 2019, Bass’s appointed appellate counsel filed a Lindsey brief,
certifying to this Court that the record presented no arguable issues for appeal. Counsel
requested forty days of additional time for Bass to file a pro se supplemental brief. On
January 8, 2020, this Court entered an order granting the additional time. The State filed its
Appellee’s Brief on March 20, 2020. On April 3, 2020, Bass filed a “Motion for Dismissal
of Conviction” suggesting that he had received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. On
July 7, 2020, Bass filed a pro se supplemental brief claiming that he was denied his
constitutional right to a speedy trial. He also reasserted his prior ineffective-assistance claim
and claimed that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to litigate his speedy-trial violation.
On July 15, 2020, the State filed a motion to strike Bass’s pro se supplemental brief.
¶9. Lindsey establishes the “procedure to govern cases where appellate counsel represents
an indigent criminal defendant and does not believe that his or her client’s case presents any
arguable issues on appeal[.]” Lindsey, 939 So. 2d at 748 (¶18). Bass’s appointed appellate
counsel complied with that procedure and certified that there are no arguable issues for
appeal. Subsequently, Bass filed a “Motion for Dismissal of Conviction,” suggesting that
he had received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney failed to present
evidence that would have significantly changed the outcome of his trial.5 And he filed an
untimely pro se supplemental brief claiming, for the first time, that he was denied his
constitutional right to a speedy trial, and reasserting that he had received ineffective
5 Bass attached to his motion what appears to be a message allegedly authored by the
victim. The message, which is dated September 14, 2018, states:
I [Jane], have something to confess that I want to drop charges against
Demarcus Clinton and Ken Bass they did not really rape me. I was just scared
at the moment thats why I said that. They did not force me to do anything. I
only said they rape me because I was trying to keep myself from getting in
trouble. I see now what I did was wrong and I feel bad about putting them
through all this for this long. This have been sitting on my mind for a while.
I really want this to get dropped because i wasn’t expecting thing to get this
bad, but now that I know that this is wrong I want to fix things. So please
consider in dropping charges. Sincerely, [Jane]
However, we note that “[a] party cannot make something part of the record by simply
attaching it to his brief.” Ivy v. State, 103 So. 3d 766, 769 (¶13) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012)
(citing McCullough v. State, 47 So. 3d 1206, 1211 (¶18) (Miss. Ct. App. 2010)).
assistance of trial counsel. Due to the untimeliness of Bass’s pro se brief, the State’s motion
to strike is granted. On our own motion, we also strike Bass’s Motion for Dismissal of
Conviction, which we construe as a pro se brief that was also untimely filed.
¶10. Pursuant to Lindsey, we have “reviewed the briefs and conducted an independent and
thorough review of the record, and we conclude that there are no issues that warrant
reversal.” Green v. State, 242 So. 3d 923, 925 (¶9) (Miss. Ct. App. 2018). Accordingly, we
affirm Bass’s convictions and sentence. However, we preserve Bass’s right to raise his
ineffective-assistance and speedy-trial claims in post-conviction proceedings.