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Jordan v. State

November 19, 1998

KELVIN JORDAN, A/K/A KELVIN L. JORDAN
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/01/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT WALTER BAILEY

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: CLARKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - DEATH PENALTY - DIRECT APPEAL

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED AND VACATED IN PART - 11/19/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

EN BANC.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. Kelvin Jordan was indicted during the February 1996 term of the Circuit Court of Clarke County in a three count indictment: two counts for capital murder and one count for armed robbery. Count I of the indictment charged that on October 5th, 1995, Kelvin Jordan and Frontrell Edwards shot and killed Codera Bradley while engaged in the commission of an armed robbery, in violation of Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3- 19(2)(e). Count II charged that on October 5th, 1995, Kelvin Jordan and Frontrell Edwards shot and killed Tony Roberts while engaged in the commission of an armed robbery, in violation of Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3- 19(2)(e). Count III of the indictment, the armed robbery count, charged that Kelvin Jordan and Frontrell Edwards wrongfully took possession of a 1992 Nissan belonging to Tony Roberts in violation of Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-79 . Jordan was tried by jury and was found guilty of all three counts on October 30, 1996.

¶2. Thereafter, the jury heard evidence and arguments in aggravation and mitigation of the sentence to be imposed. The jury returned a sentence of death for both capital murder counts on October 31, 1996.

The jury's verdict reads as follows:

As to Count I We, the Jury, unanimously find from the evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the following facts existed at the time of the commission of the capital murder under Count I:

1. The defendant intended that the killing of Codera Bradley take place, and

2. The defendant contemplated that lethal force would be employed.

Next, we, the Jury, unanimously find that the aggravating circumstances of:

1. The capital offense was committed while the Defendant was engaged in the crime of robbery. And

2. The capital offense was committed with the purpose of avoiding arrest. And

3. The capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

are sufficient to impose the death penalty and that there are insufficient mitigating circumstances to outweigh the aggravating circumstances and we unanimously find that the Defendant should suffer death under Count I.

/s/ Kathy Hunter Foreman of the Jury As to Count II

We, the Jury, unanimously find from the evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the following facts existed at the time of the commission of the capital murder under Count II:

1. That the defendant attempted to kill Tony Roberts

2. That the defendant intended that the killing of Tony Roberts, take place, and

3. The defendant contemplated that lethal force would be employed.

Next, we, the Jury, unanimously find that the aggravating circumstances of:

1. The capital offense was committed while the Defendant was engaged in the crime of robbery and

2. The capital offense was committed with the purpose of avoiding arrest, and

3. The capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

are sufficient to impose the death penalty and that there are insufficient mitigating circumstances to outweigh the aggravating circumstances and we unanimously find that the Defendant should suffer death under Count II.

/s/ Kathy Hunter

Foreman of the Jury

¶3. Jordan was sentenced to death by lethal injection. His execution has been stayed pending appeal. Jordan raises eight (8) assignments of error for appellate review:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE VICTIMS' BODIES AT THE CRIME SCENE AND AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPHS OF CODERA BRADLEY.

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE DEFENDANT HAD NO STANDING TO CONTEST THE SEARCH OF THE AREA SURROUNDING THE CO-DEFENDANT'S TRAILER.

III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT ALLOWED SHERIFF CROSS TO TESTIFY DURING THE SENTENCING PHASE OF TRIAL CONCERNING THE CONFESSION OF FRONTRELL EDWARDS THEREBY PREVENTING THE DEFENSE FROM CROSS EXAMINING THE CO-DEFENDANT FRONTRELL EDWARDS, VIOLATING THE DEFENDANT'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CONFRONT THE WITNESS AGAINST HIM.

III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT ALLOWED THE PROSECUTION TO CROSS-EXAMINE JORDAN'S MOTHER REGARDING HER SON'S YOUTH COURT RECORD ...


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