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LARRY D. WILLIAMS v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

JANUARY 30, 1985

LARRY D. WILLIAMS
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE WALKER, HAWKINS AND ROBERTSON

WALKER, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi wherein the appellant, Larry Williams, was indicted and tried for the crime of rape. Upon conviction he was sentenced to serve a term of 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.

In the early morning hours of October 15, 1981, a resident of the Chateau Tourraine Apartments was awakened by a black male who held a sharp object to her neck and threatened her with her life as he proceeded to rape her. The victim's roommate, who was in a nearby bedroom of the two-story apartment, was awakened by a "real vile odor." Through the air conditioning vent she overheard the word "kill" repeated several times. Realizing something was awry, she went into the bathroom and began flushing the commode.

 The victim warned her attacker that her roommate was up and was armed with a gun. He got up and stood at the end of her bed, fixed his cut-off pants and proceeded toward the stairs, Both women locked themselves in the victim's room and alerted a neighbor to phone the police. When the police arrived, the victim identified her attacker as a black male in his early twenties of slender built and approximately 5'4 "to 5'7" tall and wearing nothing but light colored cut-off shorts. He had short hair and a moustache.

 A young black male matching her description was found in a nearby canal submerged in the water; his nose, eyes and top of his head exposed.

 Shortly thereafter the victim was called to the police department in Pascagoula to view the possible suspect in the case. She observed the appellant through a six-inch hole in a door leading to a room where the appellant was detained. She immediately identified him as the man who raped her.

 (1) THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN ADMITTING THE IN-COURT IDENTIFICATIONS OF THE DEFENDANT BY THE WITNESSES FOR THE STATE.

 We have carefully considered the above assignment of error and find it wholly without merit. See Manson v. Brathwaite, 432 U.S. 98, 97 S. Ct. 2243, 53 L.Ed.2d 140 (1977); Neil v. Biggers, 409 U.S. 188, 93 S. Ct. 375, 34 L.Ed.2d 401 (1972); York v. State, 413 So.2d 1372 (Miss. 1982);

 (2) THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN ADMITTING EVIDENCE OF ANOTHER CRIME OF THE DEFENDANT.

 Over defense counsel's objection, Bruce Allen Garret was allowed to testify about a burglary which occurred prior to 2:00 a.m. in the morning of October 15, 1981 at his residence, Apartment 5 of the Chateau Tourraine Apartments, the same apartment complex where the victim lived.

 The court permitted Mr. Garret to testify for the purpose

 of identifying the appellant and cautioned both sides not to go into the elements of the crime at the Garret apartment other than to establish the appellant was present in that area.

 Garret testified he awoke to find a black male wearing nothing but cut-offs crawling on his bedroom floor. He observed the man crawl on the floor in various areas of the room and noticed a distinct odor emanating from the person's body which Garret said was "very difficult to describe."

 The appellant argues that the evidence of the burglary at the Garret apartment when considered along with the other evidence might have led the jurors to speculate the appellant committed the crime at the rape victim's apartment. He further states that the identity of the appellant was ...


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