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Smith v. State

June 11, 1998

LADACIA KAY SMITH
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



Before Prather, C.j., Roberts And Mills, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roberts, Justice, For The Court:

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-A

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/24/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. FORREST A. JOHNSON

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: ADAMS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

On March 22, 1996, Ladacia Kay Smith was found guilty by a jury in the Circuit Court of Adams County, in Cause No. 10,487, of the crime of aggravated assault. On March 25, 1996, the court, Honorable Forrest A. Johnson, Jr., Circuit Judge, presiding, having entered judgment of conviction on the verdict, sentenced Smith to a term of twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Aggrieved by this judgment, Smith has appealed to this Court raising the following issues as the basis of her appeal:

I. WHETHER THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AT TRIAL WAS INSUFFICIENT TO PROVE THAT SMITH COMMITTED AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND WHETHER THE JURY VERDICT WAS AGAINST THE OVERWHELMING WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE?

II. WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING SMITH'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM ADMISSION INTO EVIDENCE.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

A little after 8:00 p.m. on June 27, 1995, Ronald Foster was driving his gray Nissan Maxima on St. Catherine Street in Natchez, on his way to the gambling boat. He remembered passing the Brumfield Apartments, and hearing what he thought were fireworks. He did not see any young people at the apartments nor did he notice anyone with a rifle. He was not aware that his car had been shot. Upon arriving at the gambling boat, Mr. Foster parked his car and went into the casino. Upon his return to his automobile, he noticed what appeared to be a bullet hole in the left front fender of his car. It was at this time that he suspected that the bullet struck his car when he was passing by the Brumfield Apartments and heard the popping noise, and he reported the incident to the police. The police examined his car and found the bullet fragments inside the engine compartment.

At Smith's trial, Anthony Smoot testified that on the evening of June 27, 1995, he went with his cousin, Devian Phillips, to visit Smith at her apartment. Smoot was sixteen years old and had known Smith for about three months; Phillips was also sixteen. He further testified that the others present that evening were Kedric Mazique, Eugene May and Michael Simpson, who were fifteen, fourteen and thirteen years old.

Smoot stated that Smith showed the boys a.22 rifle that she kept in a closet in her apartment. She fired the rifle into her closet twice. Simpson suggested that they take the rifle outside and fire it. Smith and the boys took turns firing the rifle into the air and at a stop sign. The group went back into Smith's apartment for a minute at which time Smith suggested that they go back outside and fire the rifle some more.

Smoot testified that Smith fired the rifle in the air again. It was at this time that Foster's automobile drove by and Smith aimed and fired the rifle at it. The record reflects that the witness, Smoot, demonstrated the manner in which Smith aimed and moved the rifle, following the moving vehicle, before she fired at it. Smoot further testified that after the shot was fired he could not tell whether the car had been hit but the car continued down the street. After Smith fired the rifle at the car she dared Michael Simpson, "Come on, I ...


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