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Hutson v. State

August 18, 1998

GERALD HUTSON, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE



Before McMILLIN, P.j., Coleman, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMILLIN, P.j., For The Court:

Hutson v. State, 96-KA-01358-COA

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/01/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. KEITH STARRETT

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MARION COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: BURGLARY-HABITUAL CRIMINAL: SENTENCED TO 7 YRS WITHOUT PAROLE OR EARLY RELEASE; CONSECUTIVE TO ANY SENTENCE CURRENTLY SERVING; PAY $10,000.00 FINE; AND PAY RESTITUTION OF $675.25 TO VICTIM

DISPOSITION REVERSED AND REMANDED

Gerald Hutson has appealed his burglary conviction, raising a number of issues. One issue involves a claim that he was improperly denied the opportunity to call a witness who would have offered evidence that would have tended to be exculpatory. We conclude that this issue has merit. Therefore, we reverse and remand Hutson's conviction.

I.

Facts

Between the closing hour one evening and the next day's opening hour, a small convenience store in rural Marion County was broken into. Entry was accomplished by the application of a strong force to the front door sufficient to break a wooden beam used to bar the door and to move a large soft drink vending machine on one side of the door and a large self-service ice machine on the other. Investigating officers determined that, in all likelihood, a motor vehicle of some sort was used to ram through the door of the store. During the course of the on-scene investigation, a piece of broken black plastic was discovered. The store manager testified that he had swept that area the night before at closing and that the piece had not been there at the time. The store manager further testified that a quantity of beer and cigarettes were missing from the store along with a small firearm.

For reasons that are not explained in the record, Hutson became a suspect in the robbery. He was arrested several days after the break-in on unrelated charges. After he was arrested, investigating officers discovered his vehicle parked in a corn field across the road from his parents' residence. Officers noted that the black plastic outer frame of one of the side rearview mirrors on the vehicle was broken and that the piece of ...


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