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HENRY TURNAGE v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

JANUARY 20, 1988

HENRY TURNAGE
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, C.J., PRATHER AND ZUCCARO, JJ.

ZUCCARO, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

On March 15, 1985, Henry Turnage was convicted for the murder of Willie Earl Williams in the Circuit Court for the First Judicial District of Hinds County, the Honorable William F. Coleman presiding. From that conviction and sentence to life imprisonment Turnage appeals.

In October of 1980, Henry Turnage and Willie Earl Williams were both employed at Jackson Packing Company, in Jackson, Mississippi. After work on October 10, 1980, Turnage went to Tom's Bar-B-Que as did several other Jackson Packing employees, including Williams. By the end of the evening Williams was dead from gunshot wounds. At trial Turnage admitted firing the fatal shots, but testified he was

 acting in self-defense. Turnage testified that he was in fear for his life because Williams was threatening him with a wine bottle. Turnage drew a .22 caliber gun which misfired once and then delivered a fatal bullet. Williams was dead on arrival at a local hospital.

 On appeal Turnage raises a single issue. Turnage assigns as error that the Circuit Court erred in refusing to give the following requested instruction.

 INSTRUCTION D-10

 The Court instructs the jury that the law is that a person assaulted, or about to be assaulted by any means likely to produce death is not required by the law to wait until his adversary is on equal terms with him, but may rightfully anticipate his adversary's action and kill his adversary, when to strike in anticipation reasonably appeared to be necessary to self-defense; and, unless you, the jury, are satisfied in your minds beyond a reasonable doubt that the deceased, at the time of the killing, was not attempting to assault Defendant with a bottle, then you, the jury, must find the Defendant Not Guilty.

 Without question Turnage presented evidence sufficient to warrant the granting of a self-defense instruction. The jury received the following instructions:

 INSTRUCTION D-8

 The Court instructs the jury that every killing is not murder, and that it is never incumbent upon the accused to prove conclusively that the act was committed in self-defense, all that is necessary for the accused to prove in order to establish self-defense is that at the time of the killing the Defendant had reasonable grounds to apprehend danger of his life or good reason to believe that his life was in danger on account of the actions of the deceased.

 INSTRUCTION D-9

 The Court instructs the jury that in this State, no one is required to flee in the face of threatened assault, but may stand his ground, and in a proper case may anticipate an attack and, if reasonably necessary, slay his adversary to save

 his own life.

 INSTRUCTION ...


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