Before Thomas, P.j., Coleman, And Hinkebein, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas, P.j., For The Court:
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/26/1997
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LARRY EUGENE ROBERTS
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAUDERDALE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BILBO MITCHELL
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT SENTENCE TO LIFE AS HABITUAL OFFENDER IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MDOC.
¶1. John Skinner appeals his conviction of aggravated assault, raising the following issue as error:
I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO GRANT A MISTRIAL BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION TOLD THE JURY DURING VOIR DIRE THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS A CONVICTED FELON.
¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.
¶3. On the evening of January 24, 1997, Priscilla Richey went to Wal- Mart accompanied by her husband, Jonathan, and their four-year-old daughter, Katie. After shopping, Jonathan, an off-duty police officer, remained in the store with Katie as Priscilla walked back to the car to unload her purchases. As she was unloading, a man, later identified as John Skinner, approached Priscilla. Skinner came up behind Priscilla and leaned on her back stating "don't scream." Priscilla turned around and noticed that Skinner had a knife in her side. Priscilla began screaming, and Skinner ran off.
¶4. Jonathan heard his wife screaming his name and that a man had just tried to kill her. As he came out of the store, Jonathan saw a man running away from his wife, and he gave pursuit. By the time Jonathan caught up with Skinner he was already in his car trying to get away. The driver's side window was down, and Jonathan attempted to grab Skinner to subdue him. However, every time Jonathan reached into the car Skinner slashed at him with the knife. Jonathan was able to avoid the blows and was not injured. Skinner eventually got the car started and drove away.
¶5. Karen Kidd and her daughter were also in the Wal-Mart parking lot that evening. Kidd heard Priscilla screaming and saw Skinner standing very close beside Priscilla. Kidd then watched as Skinner took off running with Jonathan in pursuit. Kidd saw that Skinner was carrying a knife. After waiting for the police to arrive and making sure Priscilla was all right, Kidd went into the store and left after making her purchases. Kidd then drove to the Sack and Save less than a mile from the Wal-Mart. While in the parking lot of Sack and Save, ...