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Anderson v. State

December 08, 1998

JOSEPH LEE ANDERSON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



Before McMILLIN, P.j., Diaz, And Payne, JJ.

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: March 4, 1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JANNIE M. LEWIS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HUMPHREYS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: ARMED ROBBERY: SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 10 YRS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MDOC

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED

¶1. Joseph Anderson, convicted by a Humphreys County jury of armed robbery, has appealed his conviction to this Court. Anderson attacks his conviction on four separate fronts. He claims the evidence was insufficient to convict as a matter of law. Alternatively, he argues that the guilty verdict was against the weight of the evidence. He complains that evidence concerning his identification by the robbery victim in a photographic lineup was improperly suggestive. Finally, he suggests prosecutorial misconduct by virtue of the nature of the State's closing argument. We find these issues to be without merit, and, therefore, affirm Anderson's conviction.

I. Facts

¶2. Catherine Wigley was working as a clerk in Grice's Package Store in Belzoni in June 1996, when two black males entered the store and attempted to rob the store at gunpoint. One of them accidentally set off an alarm while attempting to force open the cash register, and the two men fled the store. Wigley claimed that she recognized one of the robbers, though she did not know his name, because he had been a customer in the store in the past. Based on her description, investigating officers concluded that Anderson, who had recently been taken into custody on an unrelated matter, might be that person. They assembled a photographic lineup of six individuals including Anderson and asked Wigley to view the lineup. She identified Anderson from the lineup.

¶3. Based on this identification, Anderson was indicted for the crime. Wigley also made an in-court identification of Anderson as one of the robbers during the course of the trial.

II. The First Issue: The Sufficiency of the Evidence

¶4. If the State fails to present credible evidence as to each of the material elements of the crime, a conviction cannot stand on appeal. In determining whether there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction, an appellate court is charged to view the evidence in the light most favorable to upholding the conviction. Taylor v. State, 672 So. 2d 1246, 1255 (Miss. 1996). It is only when, viewing the evidence in that light, a reviewing court is convinced that no reasonable juror could find the defendant guilty that the court may properly interfere. Id.

¶5. In this case, the State presented evidence, primarily in the form of testimony from the store clerk, that established that the crime of armed robbery was committed and that implicated Anderson as one of the participants in the robbery. Anderson's argument on this point consists primarily of an attack on the credibility of the store clerk's identification. The jury is charged with the responsibility of weighing the credibility of the witnesses who testify at trial and of deciding the appropriate weight to give any particular testimony in resolving the disputed issues of fact. Stennis v. State, 234 So. 2d 611, 614 (Miss. 1970). In this case, the jury evidently chose to believe the clerk's testimony that she could positively identify Anderson as one of the culprits. We have reviewed her testimony and do not find it so incredible or unworthy of belief that we could say, as a matter ...


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