Before Sullivan, P.j., McRAE And Smith, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sullivan, Presiding Justice
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/26/97
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. BILLY JOE LANDRUM
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: JONES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 11/12/98
¶1. This is a direct appeal of Harrison's criminal conviction in the Circuit Court of Jones County, Mississippi, for Burglary of a Non-Residence. After a jury trial on the merits, Harrison was convicted of burglary of a non residence and sentenced to five (5) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Although the circuit court erred in admitting into evidence inadmissible hearsay, based on the overwhelming weight of the evidence proving the required element of intent to steal, this case is affirmed.
¶2. Steven Harrison and a friend went to Lowery Creek Church on December 31, 1995, to do doughnuts in the parking lot when the car got stuck in the grass of the church. Harrison took the stand in his own defense and admitted to breaking into the church to use the telephone after his car got stuck in the mud, but he denied taking anything from the church or vandalizing it.
I. THE COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING, OVER DEFENSE OBJECTION TO HEARSAY, THE POLICE OFFICER TO TESTIFY THAT AS PART OF HIS INVESTIGATION HE HAD BEEN TOLD WHAT ITEMS MAY HAVE BEEN MISSING.
¶3. Harrison argues that impermissible hearsay was allowed and the evidence was prejudicial in that it was the only piece of evidence that the State offered to show Harrison's intent to steal when he broke into the church. The contested testimony while Officer Shoemake was on the witness stand is as follows:
Shoemake: I found numerous rooms vandalized. I had asked some of the people at the church if they had found anything missing. They advised me -
Mr. Sullivan: Object to hearsay.
Q. Did you determine if anything was missing?
Mr. Sullivan: Object, unless he can show the proper predicate and that it wasn't hearsay.
Mr. Stricklen: He said he determined something was ...