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JERRY LEFLORE v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

SEPTEMBER 21, 1983

JERRY LEFLORE
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE PATTERSON, HAWKINS and PRATHER

HAWKINS, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT

Jerry Leflore was convicted in the circuit court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County of the crime of armed robbery, and sentenced to serve 25 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 15 years suspended, 10 years to serve, and to be placed on probation for 5 years.

Upon this appeal we address the sufficiency of the evidence, and whether or not a mistrial was warranted because of the unwarranted presence of a jury bailiff in the jury room during deliberations.

 FACTS

 Robert Odeh, a native of Nigeria who had been in this country for approximately four years, was employed at the Fas-Gas Service Station at 2013 West Capitol. He was well acquainted with Leflore, an 18-year-old youth, having seen him on almost a daily basis. Leflore had worked at the station for two days in July, 1980.

 Around 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 9, 1980, a man walked in the station, his face covered with a towel. He wore a T-shirt, white pants, and light blue casual shoes. He pulled a .22 caliber pistol on Odeh, pointed it in his face, and walked to the cash drawer and took approximately $60.00 in cash, leaving the silver. Nothing was spoken.

 When he first came in, Odeh testified, "A guy who I felt, you know, I knew very well came in with his face covered up and I thought he was playing with me, you know, like he was making fun."

 Although his face was covered, from his complexion, mannerisms, and the way he walked, Odeh thought it was Leflore. The robber left the station from a side entrance and Odeh followed him approximately fifty yards from the store. The robber took the towel off his face, and Odeh got something of a side view of a part of the side of his face. This convinced him the robber was Leflore. The robber was walking in the direction of Leflore's home.

 Odeh returned to the store and called the police, who quickly arrived. Odeh then accompanied the officers to the Leflore residence where he was arrested. Odeh testified Leflore was wearing what appeared to be the same trousers and shoes, but a different colored T-shirt Odeh had remembered the robber wearing.

 No money or weapon was found on Leflore.

 The conviction of Leflore was based entirely upon the testimony of Odeh.

 Leflore testified his grandmother awoke him around 10 a.m. on that Sunday, gave him $5.00 to go to the store and get change. She wanted to give his younger brother and sisters Sunday School money. He went to a store on the corner of Capitol and Valley, owned and operated by Willie L. (Pop) Jones. The Jones store was located about one-and-a-half to two blocks from the service station. Leflore lived approximately three to four blocks from these places of business.

 On his way to the store, Leflore was asked by a small boy to bring him something back from the store. According to Leflore, he got the money changed, and returned home. On his return, the child asked him why he had not ...


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