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ROBERT WINSTON v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

OCTOBER 30, 1985

ROBERT WINSTON
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE PATTERSON, C.J., ROBERTSON AND ANDERSON, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

This appeal follows the conviction of Robert Winston in the Circuit Court of Lamar County, Mississippi, on the charge of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, Miss. Code Ann. 97-17-21 (1972), upon which he has been sentenced to twelve (12) years imprisonment.

 On appeal, Winston contends that the lower court erred:

 (1) in overruling his motion of quash the indictment;

 (2) in overruling his motion for a directed verdict at the conclusion of the State's case in chief and his subsequent motion for judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict of the jury, and

 (3) in refusing to grant his alternative post-trial motion for a new trial made on grounds that the jury verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

 We have considered each assignment of error with care and have studied and reviewed the course of proceedings in the trial court. Having done so, we find no error and affirm.

 II.

 Joanna Showers in March of 1984 was an 84 year old semi-invalid widow who lived alone in her home in a housing project in Lumberton, Mississippi. She had retired early on the evening of March 3, 1984, thinking nothing was amiss. At approximately 11:00 p.m. on that evening Showers was awakened by Robert Winston as he was "coming out from under her bed" . Winston had no permission to be in Showers' home, much less under her bed.

 Prior to the night in question, Joanna Showers had lost the keys to her home. Winston's sister, Carolyn, later advised her that she had given the keys to Robert Winston.

 The screen door on Showers' house was in good condition prior to March 3. Upon investigation thereafter, law enforcement officers determined that the screen had been cut in a manner adequate to allow one to open the screen door and then gain entrance to the house with keys.

 Winston was formally charged with the burglary of an inhabited dwelling in an indictment returned on June 6, 1984, by the Lamar County Grand Jury. The matter was called for trial in circuit court on June 20, 1984. At the conclusion of the State's case in chief, Winston moved the court for direction of a verdict of acquittal. The motion was denied. Alternatively, Winston moved that the jury be instructed to find him guilty of malicious trespass only. That motion also was denied. At that time Winston rested without offering any evidence, In due course thereafter, the jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged. The 25 year old Winston was thereupon sentenced to twelve years imprisonment. *fn1

 On June 5, 1984, Winston filed a motion for judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict of the jury or, in the alternative, for a new trial. On the same day, the trial judge overruled and denied these alternative post-trial motions. This appeal has followed.

 III.

 Winston charges that the trial court erred in overruling his motion to quash the indictment. The indictment charges that Winston broke and entered Showers' home with intent to steal her personal property. Winston's point is that the indictment does not describe with ...


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