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ROBERT ALLEN LANNOM v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

FEBRUARY 13, 1985

ROBERT ALLEN LANNOM
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE PATTERSON, SULLIVAN AND ANDERSON

SULLIVAN, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

In the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, Robert Allen Lannom was convicted of armed robbery of a drugstore. He was sentenced by the jury to life imprisonment. On appeal, he assigns as error:

1. Allowing state witnesses Britt and Bailey to identify defendant as the robber because a pretrial identification procedure was impermissibly suggestive.

 2. Failure of the court to instruct the jury on an essential element of the crime charged, that the taking of the property was done with the intent to steal.

 Neither assignment has merit. We affirm.

 I.

 WAS IT REVERSIBLE ERROR TO ALLOW WITNESSES BRITT AND BAILEY TO IDENTIFY LANNOM AS THE ROBBER BECAUSE OF A PRETRIAL IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURE THAT WAS IMPERMISSIBLY SUGGESTIVE?

 On the night of September 18, 1982, when the armed robbery was committed at a Howard's Pharmacy on Clinton Blvd., in Jackson, Mississippi, pharmicist Harry Britt and a store employee, Scott Bailey, were present. Britt testified that during the robbery he watched the eyes and face of the robber, which was only partially concealed by a stocking. Britt testified that the robber held Bailey by the arm, pointing his pistol at Britt throughout the robbery. The entire event took approximately three minutes.

 Britt testified that he personally confronted the robber in the store and was at times within two or three feet of him. The lights in the store were bright and Britt paid close attention to the robber to pick out distinctive characteristics. Britt identified Lannom in a police lineup and again in the courtroom as the robber. Britt based his identification on viewing Lannom the night of the robbery, and the fact that Lannom's nose flared to the side and there was a bulb on the front of the nose.

 Scott Bailey, age 18, saw the robber almost the whole time because the robber held him by the arm. Bailey went to the lineup and identified Lannom as the person

 who robbed the store based upon his independent recollection from the night of the robbery. Bailey testified that neither the officers nor Britt tried to sway him in making his lineup identification. Britt and Bailey did not observe the lineup at the same time. Bailey positively identified the defendant as the robber at the trial.

 Lannom first contends that he was the subject of an impermissibly suggestive showup when a Jackson police officer took him to the drugstore where Britt was working and gave Britt an opportunity to observe Lannom prior to the lineup. The salient facts regarding this contention are these: Lannom was arrested on October 14, 1982, in Tennessee, and brought with another person to Jackson four or five days later. Lannom was a suspect in connection with the murder of one Teresa Wade. This police investigation was well publicized. One of the features of the investigation consisted of Jackson police officers driving Lannom around the city of Jackson searching for a dumpster in which the police believed the body of Teresa Wade had been left.

 On one such occasion detectives Wilson and Monroe drove Lannom to the front of the Howard Pharmacy that had been robbed. Officer Wilson went into the drugstore, leaving Lannom in the front seat and the other police officer in the rear seat of the unmarked police vehicle. Lannom's version of the events which followed was contradicted by three other witnesses. He testified that, as they approached, detective Wilson told him that he should recognize this drugstore because he robbed it. When Lannom denied this, Wilson went inside and brought two persons to the front window of the store to point Lannom out to them. Lannom said that one was a big man wearing a white hospital coat and the other was a teenager in bluejeans.

 Detective Monroe said that the officers had received a radio message to call their office and that, by coincidence, they pulled into the Howard's Pharmacy which Lannom was later charged with robbing. Monroe said that Wilson went in and Lannom bent his head down in the front ...


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