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Cantrell v. State

August 18, 1998

MIKE CANTRELL A/K/A MICHAEL RAY CANTRELL, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Coleman, And Herring, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herring, J., For The Court:

Cantrell v. State, 96-KA-01305-COA

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/26/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LEE J. HOWARD

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - MISDEMEANOR

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: PETIT LARCENY: SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 6 MONTHS IN THE LOWNDES COUNTY JAIL, & PAY A FINE IN THE AMOUNT OF $500 & TO PAY ALL COSTS

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED

Mike Cantrell appeals to this Court from an order and judgment issued by the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi, which denied his motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or alternatively a new trial. The Appellant was convicted of petit larceny on November 26, 1996. We affirm.

I. THE FACTS

On February 4, 1996, Mike Cantrell and Danny Peeks went to Mark's Bar, a tavern located in Lowndes County, Mississippi. Present at the bar when Cantrell and Peeks arrived were Chess B. Ming, his wife, Mark Nickoles, the owner of Mark's Bar, and his wife. Because of inclement weather, cold and ice, the bar had few patrons. Ming had recently purchased a new guitar, and he and Nickoles played their guitars until 1:30 a.m. At or about 1:30 a.m. on February 5, 1995, Ming decided to leave and went to his automobile. He placed his guitar in the back seat of the vehicle and started the car to warm it up. He then locked the vehicle using the electric locks and re-entered Mark's Bar. Ming testified that although he used the vehicle's electric locks, it was not unusual for all of the doors of his vehicle not to lock. Unfortunately, he did not check the doors of his vehicle on this occasion to ensure that they were securely locked. Ming testified that when he re-entered the bar, he asked Cantrell to move his truck so that he could leave. Both Ming and Nickoles testified that Cantrell left the bar to move his vehicle, and reappeared moments later at the door and called for his companion to leave with him. According to Ming and Nickoles, Cantrell's companion immediately left the premises with him. They also testified that no other person exited the bar between the time that Ming asked Cantrell to move his vehicle and the time when the guitar was discovered missing a short time later. According to the testimony, when Ming got into his vehicle to leave the bar, he became aware that his new guitar and guitar case which he had placed on the rear seat were missing. He re-entered the bar and informed Nickoles that the guitar was missing, and he reported the guitar stolen on the next day.

Ming's guitar was recovered from the Highway 12 Swap Shop on February 21, 1996. Jimmy Beard, the owner and operator of the Highway 12 Swap Shop, testified that he purchased the guitar from the defendant, Mike Cantrell, for $125. Cantrell testified in his own defense and consistent with his February 21, 1996, signed statement, admitted selling the guitar to Beard. He stated that he first took the guitar to Bobby Bowen, who declined to purchase the guitar but recommended that he take the guitar to Beard. Cantrell also testified that he purchased the guitar from Mark Nickoles for $75 and that this transaction occurred after Ming had left the bar. Cantrell stated that Nickoles told him that he needed the money to purchase butane to heat his business establishment. Nickoles denied this conversation, and Cantrell offered no other witness or evidence to corroborate his version of the events that occurred on the night in question.

Dana Clark, the owner of DC Music of Columbus, Mississippi, testified that she sold the guitar to Ming for the sum of $199. Bobby Bowen testified that Cantrell brought the guitar to him and that he offered to buy it for $50. After Cantrell finally sold the guitar to Jimmy Beard at the Highway 12 Swap Shop for $125, it was ...


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