Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tavares v. State

June 11, 1998

SUZANNE ILENE TAVARES
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, Justice

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/22/95

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER, JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: ATTALA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 6/11/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

EN BANC.

Introduction

¶1. This case is before the Court sitting en banc on a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Suzanne Ilene Tavares. Ilene was convicted of murdering her husband, Jerry Tavares. She was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The Court of Appeals affirmed her conviction and sentence and her motion for rehearing. Ilene filed a timely petition for writ of certiorari which this Court granted. Finding no reversible error, this Court affirms Ilene's conviction and sentence.

FACTS

¶2. Jerry Tavares was killed by three shots from a nine millimeter gun. Bennie Cork became a suspect and informed the police that Jerry's murder was the result of a scheme involving Billy Joe Barnett, Glen Dale Davis, and Suzanne Ilene Tavares, the deceased's wife.

¶3. Cork testified that he was approached by Barnett to kill a man. Cork met with Barnett and Davis to discuss the murder. Cork agreed to kill Jerry and the three of them picked out a location to kill Jerry near the store owned by Jerry and Ilene. Cork and Davis took Barnett to the store so he could get Jerry to the murder site. Cork and Davis drove to the murder site and waited on Barnett and Jerry to arrive. Approximately thirty minutes later, Barnett and Jerry arrived in Jerry's truck. Barnett approached Cork, but Cork stated that he was not going to kill Jerry and turned around and walked off. Cork then heard two gunshots and when he turned around, he saw Barnett shoot Jerry a third time.

¶4. The three men then drove toward Little Mountain. Barnett told Cork that he was going to call Jerry's wife and let her know the location of the body. Cork testified that Barnett called a lady named "Ilene." Phone records were introduced at trial indicating that a phone call was placed from the Little Mountain Service Station to Ilene's home at 11:01 p.m. on May 11, 1992. Cork was then taken to Maben, Mississippi, and told to get rid of the gun. Cork threw the gun in a creek. It was later recovered by divers.

¶5. Cork was paid $500 to get rid of the gun. A check for $500 dated June 30, 1992, payable from Davis to Cork was introduced at trial. Barnett asked Davis to write the $500 check to Cork. Davis told Barnett that he did not have enough to cover the check and that Barnett would have to make a deposit the next day to cover it. A cash deposit in the amount of $495 was made to Davis's checking account on July 3, 1992.

¶6. Cork stated that Barnett was supposed to pay him, but Barnett had difficulty in cashing a $1,500 check given to him by Ilene. A check dated June 5, 1992, in the amount of $1,500 payable to Barnett was introduced at trial. The check was drawn on the store's account and signed by Ilene.

¶7. Mark Smith, an acquaintance of Jerry and Ilene Tavares and Billy Joe Barnett, testified that two weeks before the murder, Barnett approached him twice and offered him money and a vehicle to kill Jerry. Barnett told him that he could not pay him because he had to wait on some insurance money. Smith declined the offer on both occasions. The weekend before the murder, Smith traded a nine millimeter gun with Barnett. The gun traded to Barnett was the gun used in the murder. The morning following the murder, Barnett told Smith to report the gun as stolen.

¶8. At the time of Ilene's trial, Barnett had been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Cork entered a plea of guilty to capital murder and received a sentence of life imprisonment with eligibility for parole. Davis had not been tried.

ISSUES

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING "FLIGHT" EVIDENCE AND IN GIVING ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.