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Culp v. State

June 25, 1998

ANTHONY CULP A/K/A SHERMAN ANTHONY CULP
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



Before Sullivan, P.j., Roberts And Waller, JJ.

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/09/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. FRANK ALLISON RUSSELL

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

BY: DEWITT T. ALLRED, III

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DENNIS FARRIS

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

¶1. Anthony Culp was tried and convicted of the crime of the crime of conspiracy to sell, transfer, or distribute cocaine in Lee County, Mississippi by Circuit Judge Frank A. Russell, sitting without a jury.

¶2. Culp was sentenced to a term of eight (8) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections to be served concurrently with another sentence imposed on Culp in Cause No. CR94-275. Culp asserts that the trial court should have granted his motion for directed verdict at the end of the state's case and at the close of the defendant's case. Culp further contends that the verdict was against the overwhelming weight of evidence and he should have been granted a motion for JNOV.

¶3. We find Culp's assignments of error to be without merit and the conviction and sentence of the Circuit Court of Lee County, Mississippi are affirmed.

¶4. The facts of this case involve the scenario of an undercover officer accompanied by a confidential informant making a drug buy. Paul Mills, the officer, testified that William Betts got into the car with them on the night of July 14, 1993, in Tupelo, Mississippi, and asked them what they needed. When Mills replied "a 20", Betts directed him to drive to another location saying he would have to go and get it from somebody.

¶5. The testimony of Officer Mills is that he watched Betts walk up to the defendant Culp and hand him $20.00 of buy funds and then he saw Culp give something back to Betts. Betts returned to the car, produced a rock of cocaine and gave it to Officer Mills.

ΒΆ6. Officer Mills testified that he could not hear the conversation between Betts and Culp and was not able to see the rock exchange hands from that distance but he did see Betts' hand at all times. It was further said that when he and the confidential informant prepared to leave, Culp came to the passenger side window of their car and "ask him if he got what he wanted. And that ...


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