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LESTER PORTER v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

FEBRUARY 17, 1988

LESTER PORTER
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE DAN LEE, SULLIVAN, AND ANDERSON

ANDERSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of Lincoln County wherein appellant Lester Porter was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to thirty-five years imprisonment. Finding no errors in the trial below, we affirm both the conviction and sentence.

On November 1, 1985, Mrs. Edna Smith was working alone as cashier at a Brookhaven convenience store. At about 3:30 a.m. she was robbed by a masked man wearing a rainsuit. The robber displayed a knife with a rusty blade. He took approximately $140 in cash and about $20 in foodstamps from the register. He then requested a large bag which he filled with cartons of cigarettes, beer, coffee and toiletries before leaving.

 Mrs. Smith was able to tell from the robber's hands that he was black. She also noticed that he had a scar on his right hand and was about 6 feet tall. At trial, she could not identify the appellant himself or his voice, but she did positively identify the scar as the same the robber had.

 Mark Barnes also testified that on the morning of November 1, Lester Porter approached him and offered him $25 to drive him to Bogue Chitto. Barnes initially refused but eventually agreed to take Porter to his aunt's home there in Brookhaven. Upon entering his car, Barnes found a bag containing beer, cigarettes, and other items that had been placed there by Porter. He drove Porter to the home of his aunt, and Porter took some of the items into his aunt's house. Barnes and Porter argued because Barnes would not take Porter to Bogue Chitto. Subsequently, Porter pulled out a rusty knife and tried to attack Barnes, but Barnes managed to escape and called the police.

 When police arrived, they found Porter carrying a

 rusty knife in his pocket and a large bag containing coffee and cigarettes. As the arresting officer approached, Porter stated without prompting that it was Barnes who robbed the convenience store and not him.

 Mrs. Louvenia Porter, appellant's aunt, consented to a search of her home by the police. The officers found cigarettes, beer and other items matching the description of those taken in the robbery in a bedroom used by the appellant.

 In a strip search of the appellant at the police station, officers found $172 in cash and $22 in food stamps in appellant's underwear.

 Mrs. Porter testified on behalf of the appellant that the knife in question belonged to her deceased son. She also stated she had used the knife on the evening of October 31 and it remained in her home until appellant arrived there on the morning of November 1 around 7:00 a.m.

 At the end of the trial, the jury found appellant guilty and the trial court sentenced Porter to imprisonment for thirty-five years. It is from this conviction and sentence Porter appeals.

 Appellant assigns a number of errors in the court below. We have carefully examined each allegation and find no merit in any.

 We find it necessary to address only appellant's contention that display of his scar to the witness was in violation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

 Mrs. Smith could not identify the robber's voice or his face because the robber wore a mask. However, she did notice a scar on the right wrist of the assailant. During her testimony the court granted the state's request to have the appellant exhibit his hands to the witness, in spite of his objection. Mrs. Smith positively ...


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