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MALACHI LEWIS v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

AUGUST 22, 1984

MALACHI LEWIS
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE WALKER, BOWLING AND HAWKINS

WALKER, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of Attala County, Mississippi wherein the appellant, Malachi Lewis, was indicted, tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to serve the remainder of his natural life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Aggrieved with the lower court's holding, he has perfected an appeal to this Court.

Annie Christine Lewis and her two sons, James and Michael, resided in a home in Sallis, Mississippi with her husband, Malachi. Annie and Malachi were married in September of 1982.

 On the evening of February 7, 1982 the children heard the couple argue and that night Annie slept on the sofa in the living room. Before dawn the boys were again awakened by the couple's arguing.

 On February 8, upon coming home from school, the boys found the door to their home locked. After gaining access to the home through a window, Annie was found dead in the bedroom propped against the dresser, one arm resting on the bed and blood all over her clothing. The living room was torn up, and the breakfast dishes had not been cleaned. A bloody knife was found on the stereo in the livingroom. Annie's death was the result of six stab wounds to her chest.

 After locating the appellant in Newberry County, South Carolina, the police officials on February 12 returned him to Mississippi where he was charged with the murder of Annie Lewis.

 I.

 THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DECEASED.

 Objection was entered on the basis that the photograph was highly prejudicial and had no evidentiary value. The objection was overruled.

 This Court has repeatedly held that in considering the competency, relevancy and materiality of photographs, it is within the sound discretion of the trial judge to determine whether or not the photographs have a legitimate evidentiary purpose. Sadler v. State, 407 So. 2d 95 (Miss. 1981); Voyles v. State, 362 So 2d 1236 (Miss. 1978).

 In Groseclose v. State, 440 So. 2d 297 (Miss. 1983), we

 upheld the admission of a single photograph which depicted the victim's body where the photo showed the position of the body at the time it was found by the law enforcement officers and also where it was not inordinately gruesome. In the cause before us now we again do not find the admission into evidence of the single photograph of Annie Lewis to be in error as it merely showed the position of her body at the time the officers arrived at the scene and as in Groseclose was not inordinately gruesome.

 II.

 THE JURY ERRED IN NOT ACCEPTING HIS VERSION OF WHAT TOOK PLACE IN VIEW OF ...


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