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ROBERT FORBES (FORD) v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

SEPTEMBER 07, 1983

ROBERT FORBES (FORD)
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE PATTERSON, C.J., BOWLING AND ROBERTSON, JJ.

PATTERSON, CHIEF JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Robert Ford was indicted and convicted in the First Judicial District of the Circuit Court of Hinds County for armed robbery. He was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment with five years suspended. Ford appeals, assigning the following as error:

The court erred:

 1. In not granting the appellant's motion for a directed verdict after the State had concluded its case.

 2. In not striking for cause the members of the jury that had been burglarized or robbed.

 3. In not granting appellant a mistrial or continuance when the jury panel contained 19 persons who had been burglarized or who had been robbed in a recent period of time.

 4. The verdict of the jury was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

 The night of January 26, 1982, a beige Plymouth Satellite automobile parked behind the Church's Fried Chicken store on Ellis Avenue in Jackson. One of the two men inside the car emerged, entered the store, and robbed it at gunpoint. Following his instructions, the employees put the one dollar bills from the cash registers into a Church's bag and gave the robber the five, ten and twenty dollar bills which he put into his pocket. He then ordered the employees into the office and left the store. Immediately afterward Diane Liddell, an employee of Church's, called the police.

 Officer Terry Grice took descriptions from the witnesses about 12:30 a.m., January 27, approximately 30 minutes after the

 robbery. Deputy Tommy Powell heard the information over the radio and stopped a vehicle south of the intersection of Rose and Capital Streets which fit Grice's description. Both the driver, Robert Ford, and the passenger, Charles Carter were arrested.

 Ford first contends his motion for directed verdict was erroneously denied. In considering such motion we accept as true all evidence most favorable to the state, together with its reasonable inferences, and disregard evidence favorable to the appellant. If such evidence will support a guilty verdict, the motion for directed verdict will be denied. Bullock v. State, 391 So. 2d 601, 606 (Miss. 1980).

 While the record discloses no direct testimony identifying Robert Ford as one of the men who robbed the chicken store, the state did present evidence from which reasonable inferences of Ford's guilt could be drawn. Ida Haynes testified there were two black men inside the car from which the armed robber emerged. At the time of Ford's arrest within 30 minutes of the robbery he was driving a Plymouth Satellite fitting Haynes' description. Officers found a Church's chicken bag with 44 one dollar bills on the front seat between Ford and Charles Carter, whom Ida Haynes and Dianne Liddell positively identified as the man who took the store's money at gunpoint. Additionally, Officer Powell saw protruding from underneath the passenger's seat a revolver which matched the employees' description of the robbery weapon. We are of the opinion reasonable inferences of Ford's guilt could be drawn from this evidence and that the case was therefore properly submitted to the jury.

 Ford's next two contentions involve the following proceedings had ...


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