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LAWRENCE MACK v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

DECEMBER 04, 1985

LAWRENCE MACK
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



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

PRATHER, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This appeal arises out of a 29 year old defendant's burglary of his mother's home and theft of certain items of household goods. We have been asked to review the questions of whether a circumstantial evidence instruction should have been submitted to the jury and whether the evidence against the defendant is sufficient in law to support a conviction. Finding no error, we affirm.

I.

 House Number 320 Hunt Street, Greenville, Mississippi, is the residence of Louise Mack. Louise Mack returned home from work in the evening of June 22, 1983, and discovered that someone had broken into her house. The curtain on a bedroom window on the north side was torn apart and the window shades were down. Before she left home that morning, she had locked all doors and windows. In fact, she had placed a stick on the window to secure it. Louise Mack testified that nobody had a key to her house; not even the Defendant, Lawrence Mack, who is her son. Lawrence had lived with his mother for some time, but she had asked him to move out after a series of disagreements with him. He had moved out a month prior to the incident in question.

 Upon entry on the evening in question Louise Mack discovered that her 13 inch TV and a clock radio, which were in her bedroom, were missing and a 22 inch lawnmower that was stored in her storage room was also missing. She identified a radio purportedly pawned by Lawrence Mack to a Mr. Grigsby as hers and as the radio which was taken from her bedroom on the day of the alleged burglary.

 Arthur Hayes, a Greenville police officer, testified that he investigated a reported burglary of the premises at 320 Hunt Street on June 22, 1983. During the course of the investigation, he noticed footprints on the west side of the house leading around to the back bedroom window. This is the same window referred to earlier in Louise Mack's testimony. Officer Hayes testified that it appeared that someone had forcibly opened this window in order to gain entry into the premise. He also testified that the doors had locks on them. The bedroom from which the items were taken was ransacked as was another room in the house.

 Van Marie Wise, the former girlfriend of Lawrence Mack and mother of his baby, testified that Lawrence came to the apartment they shared and brought with him a lawnmower, a color television set and a radio. She could not remember the exact date, but, when she asked him where he got them from, Lawrence replied that he had gotten these items from his

 mother.

 Lawrence Mack pawned a radio for Five Dollars to James Grigsby on July 10, 1984. James Grigsby identified the radio in exhibit as the same one he had pawned to him and as that which the police had recovered from him when they were investigating the burglary.

 Lawrence Mack, age 29, took the stand in his own defense. He admitted pawning a radio to James Grigsby on the 10th of July, 1983, for Five Dollars. The radio, according to his testimony was his; he bought it at a rummage sale. At the time of the burglary his mother told him about it, but he told her he did not know anything about it.

 Procedurally, Lawrence Mack was formally charged with burglary of a dwelling house in an indictment returned by the Washington County Grand Jury on October 14, 1983. The matter was called for trial in the Circuit Court of Washington County, Mississippi, on December 20, 1984. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged, whereupon the Circuit Court sentenced Mack to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a period of five (5) years. This appeal has followed.

 II.

 On this appeal, Mack assigns as error the following:

 (1) The refusal by the trial court to instruct the jury in accordance with the standards and safeguards which apply in ...


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