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BETTY MILAN DAVIS v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

SEPTEMBER 25, 1985

BETTY MILAN DAVIS
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, DAN LEE and SULLIVAN

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Betty Milan Davis was found guilty in the Circuit Court of Tunica County, Mississippi, on an indictment charging aggravated assault, and was sentenced to ten (10) years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. She has appealed to this Court, and assigns two errors in the trial below.

About 2:30 a.m. on August 21, 1982, appellant and Goldie Judd engaged in a fight at Grandberry's Cafe in Tunica County, Mississippi. It was discovered later that both women were armed. Bystanders separated the lady gladiators. Two of them were holding appellant and restraining her until someone shouted that Goldie had a gun, whereupon they immediately released her. Appellant took a handgun from her purse and began firing (four or five times) at, and in the direction of, Goldie. Lee Nie Washington, Goldie's boyfriend and escort, was in close proximity to her, and Washington was shot three (3) times, the bullets striking him in the left arm, wrist and thigh. Goldie also was hit by one of the bullets. After the shooting, appellant left Tunica County and went to Memphis where she remained for two weeks, thinking that she had killed Goldie. She voluntarily returned to Tunica County and was arrested upon a charge of aggravated assault.

 I.

 THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING TESTIMONY OF ANOTHER CRIME.

 Appellant contends under this assignment that the lower court committed error in admitting testimony that Goldie was shot at the time of the Washington shooting, and in admitting testimony of appellant that she left Tunica County and went to Memphis for approximately two weeks. She claims that this testimony was evidence of other crimes and was reversible error. We disagree. Where the offense charged and other offenses offered in evidence are so connected as to constitute one transaction, the evidence is admissible. Gray v. State, 351 So. 2d 1342 (Miss. 1977). The shooting of Washington and Goldie were so interwoven and close in point of time that they also constituted a part of the res gestae.

 Appellant was asked on cross-examination what she did after the shooting, and her response was that she went to

 Memphis where she stayed for approximately two weeks, because she thought she had killed Goldie. The testimony was part of an orderly presentation of the State's case and was an explanation of where she went and what she did immediately after the shooting. It further explained the reason for the delay in apprehending, charging and arresting appellant. On redirect examination, counsel for appellant inquired of her why she went to Memphis and showed that she returned of her own volition.

 We do not think that the lower court committed reversible error in admitting this testimony.

 II.

 THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN OVERRULING APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR A DIRECTED VERDICT SINCE THE STATE DID NOT PROVE THE CRIME CHARGED IN THE INDICTMENT.

 Appellant contends that the indictment charges her with aggravated assault upon Washington in that she purposely and knowingly attempted to cause bodily injury to Washington with a deadly weapon. Washington testified on cross-examination that he and appellant did not know each other and there was no reason for appellant to shoot him, and, therefore, she did not intend to shoot him. The aggravated assault statute under which the indictment was drawn follows:

 97-3-7. Simple assault; ...


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