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Hobson v. State

September 17, 1998

ABRAHAM HOBSON
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



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

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/27/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. W. SWAN YERGER

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 09/17/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED: MANDATE

ISSUED:

¶1. Abraham Hobson was indicted by the Hinds County Grand Jury during the September, 1995, Term for the murder of James Carson. He proceeded to trial on March 26, 1997. The jury found Hobson guilty of murder, and Circuit Court Judge W. Swan Yerger sentenced him to the mandatory term of life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Hobson appeals to this Court, assigning as error the denial of his motion in limine, introduction of hearsay, failure to grant a mistrial, refusal to admit impeachment evidence against the State's key witness, denial of instructions on identification evidence and manslaughter, inflammatory comments by the prosecutor during closing argument, and the sufficiency of the evidence. Finding no merit to any of Hobson's claims, we affirm his conviction and sentence.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

¶2. In the early morning of May 15, 1995, Frank Stone was working picking up paper at Gains Grocery in Jackson. Stone saw what he described as a white Iroc parked in the middle of the intersection of Lamar and Bell Streets under a street light. Abraham Hobson was leaning against the car. Stone testified that he saw Hobson "come up with" a pistol, and the man in the car passed him a package. Hobson shot the man in the car, and the man punched the gas and drove off through a red light. The car wrecked in a drug store parking lot, and the police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. Officer Brent Winstead identified the victim as James A. Carson.

¶3. Officer Lawrence Epps with the Jackson Police Department arrived on the scene of the shooting and spoke with Stone. Stone identified Hobson as the shooter and showed Officer Epps where Hobson lived on Ash Street. Perry McAbee also gave a statement to police stating that he saw Hobson running down the pathway from Gains Grocery after the shooting. Stone also spoke with Officer Winstead, who arrested Hobson at his mother's house on Ash Street. Officer Winstead showed Stone a photo line-up, and Stone identified Hobson as the shooter from the photographs.

¶4. At the time of his arrest, Hobson told police that he had no knowledge of the shooting or the victim. When the officers informed Hobson that they had a witness identifying him as the gunman, he still denied any involvement. However, Hobson later told Officer Winstead that he had talked to a guy in a white Camaro Z28, looking for someone named "D" at about 11:00 p.m.

¶5. Officer Childress arrived on the scene at 12:38 a.m. after the victim's body had been transported. He photographed the white Camaro Z28 and the area around the scene at the drug store parking lot on the southeast corner of Lamar and Fortification Streets. One of the photographs depicted a small handgun on the driver's side floorboard that was found underneath the floor mat. John Dial with the Jackson Police Department Crime Laboratory determined that a projectile recovered from Carson's autopsy was not fired from the.32 automatic recovered from the victim's car. He was also able to determine that the .32 automatic had not been fired recently when it was removed from the crime scene.

¶6. Dr. Rodrigo Galvez, who performed the autopsy on Carson, testified that the cause of death was massive internal bleeding caused by a gunshot wound entering the right arm and going through Carson's chest, through his lungs and heart. There was no tattooing (gunpowder marks) around the gunshot entrance wound, indicating that the gun was more than eighteen inches away from him when it was fired.

ΒΆ7. The defense rested without calling any witnesses. Based upon the above evidence presented by the State, the jury found Hobson guilty of murder. Judge Yerger sentenced ...


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