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WALTER RAY SLOANE v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

AUGUST 24, 1983

WALTER RAY SLOANE
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE WALKER, DAN LEE AND ROBERTSON

WALKER, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi,

wherein the appellant, Walter Ray Sloane, was indicted, tried, and convicted of armed robbery. Following conviction he was sentenced to a term of thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with twelve years suspended, eighteen to serve. From this conviction and sentence, he appeals. We reverse.

 In the evening of February 1, 1981, William Gerald Guthrie, employed by Lancaster Properties, A. J. Realty Company, as apartment manager was at the company's Bailey Avenue Apartments located at Collier and Bailey Avenues in Jackson, Mississippi, for the purpose of collecting rent. While coming out of one of the upstairs apartments with his money bag, he was approached by a black male who, as he got directly beside Guthrie, hit him in the head with a revolver. The assailant made several threatening remarks and, as the two scuffled, was able to secure Guthrie's money bag and fled from the scene. According to Guthrie the area was well lit by a series of light bulbs along the apartment balcony and street lights outside the apartment parking lot.

 After the police arrived, Guthrie described his assailant as being in his late 20's, 5'7 ", 150 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, short afro, and clean shaven.

 Sloane was arrested after a positive identification was made from police photographs by Charles Epps, a resident of the apartments and a friend of the appellant. The victim, Guthrie, identified Sloane from a police lineup based upon Sloane's facial features, body structure and stature, height and body weight.

 Following trial, the jury returned its verdict," We, the jury, find the defendant guilty as charged. "

 On appeal the appellant has assigned several errors. However, as this case requires reversal, we find it necessary to address only the issue regarding introduction into evidence of mug shots of the appellant. It is contended that the mug shots indicated appellant had a prior criminal record. The mug shots in question were a full front and a profile shot of the appellant with the inscription" Police Dept. Jackson, Miss. "and identification number" 27163. "The mug shots had been taken several years prior to the crime for which appellant was being tried and portrayed a much younger Sloane. The mug shots had no connection with this more recent crime.

 It is the general rule that evidence of other crimes perpetrated by the accused *fn1 are generally inadmissible.

 Black v. State, 418 So. 2d 819 (Miss. 1982).

 In the recent case of Taylor v. State, 426 So. 2d 775 (Miss. 1983), the defendant, accused of rape, assigned as error the introduction of mug shots which implied he had a prior criminal record. The photographs were part of a photographic array from which Taylor was identified as the assailant.

 We held the introduction of these photographs was not error because the trial judge required any markings that suggested the individuals in the photographs were criminals to be covered or excised. *fn2

 The photographs in the present case retained enough identifying marks to indicate they came from police files which would cause jurors to suspect the appellant had a criminal record or had been in trouble with the police.

 In United States v. Harrington, 490 F.2d 487 (2nd Cir. 1973), the Court outlined three prerequisites to the introduction of mug-shot type photographs in order to ...


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