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Bingham v. State

January 26, 1999

JESSIE BINGHAM APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/20/1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. W. SWANN YERGER

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: AUTO BURGLARY; 7 YEARS

AFFIRMED

EN BANC

¶1. Jessie Bingham appeals to this Court his conviction of two counts of burglary in the Hinds County Circuit Court of the First Judicial District. From that conviction, Bingham was sentenced to serve a term of seven years on each count with Count II to run consecutively to Count I with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Feeling aggrieved, Bingham assigns the following issues as error:

"I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO GRANT DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE A SPEEDY TRIAL."

"II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO GRANT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A MISTRIAL UPON IMPROPER COMMENTS BY PROSECUTION DURING CLOSING ARGUMENTS."

"III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO GRANT DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR DIRECTED VERDICT AND MOTION FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT AND/OR THE VERDICT WAS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE."

¶2. Finding no reversible error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶3. During the early morning hours of December 30, 1995, two vehicles were burglarized on Broadmoor Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. While on routine patrol, Jackson Police Officer Michael Ivy and Jackson Reserve Officer Terry Mayfield observed a gray Pontiac with its motor and lights on while parked in the middle of Broadmoor Drive. The officers testified that as they pulled up to the Pontiac they illuminated it with their "take-down" lights believing that someone was having car trouble. The officers testified that as they were opening their doors to investigate an individual exited a maroon Oldsmobile parked next to the Pontiac, immediately entered the Pontiac, and drove off.

¶4. Based on this suspicious activity the officers followed the Pontiac and ran a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer check on the Pontiac. While following the Pontiac, the officers observed the car run a stop sign at which time they turned on their blue lights and sirens. The Pontiac then began to flee at a high rate of speed. After a lengthy high speed chase, which reached speeds in excess of 120 m.p.h., the vehicle eventually came to a stop, and the driver fled the vehicle. Officers Ivy and Mayfield gave chase to the individual, and Officer Ivy eventually caught and subdued the individual. At trial Officers Ivy and Mayfield identified Jessie Bingham as the individual who fled from them at Broadmoor Drive and as the individual who fled the vehicle after the high speed chase. An inventory of Bingham's vehicle revealed several carpentry tools behind the driver's seat.

¶5. After taking the suspect into custody, Officers Ivy and Mayfield returned to Broadmoor Drive and discovered a van with its rear doors open. The officers awoke Adrian Williams, the owner of the van, and asked him to inspect his vehicle. Williams discovered that several of his carpentry tools were missing from his van. Eula Mae Wheat, the owner of the maroon Oldsmobile, was also awakened to inspect her vehicle. She discovered several scratches on the in-dash radio but nothing was missing. Both Williams and Wheat testified that their vehicles were parked outside their residences and that permission to enter their vehicles or the removal of items within their respective vehicles had not been given to anyone. The carpentry tools recovered from Bingham's vehicle were subsequently returned to Williams at the Jackson Police Department since they were needed in his occupation.

¶6. Bingham refuted the testimony of Officers Ivy and Mayfield and maintained that he was already in his Pontiac when the officers approached his vehicle. Bingham testified that he and another person, an unidentified male, had been "getting high" and drinking throughout the previous day and into the night in question. Bingham testified that he did not know this individual nor did he know the individual's name. Bingham further testified that he and his unidentified companion went "to get some more money to get high." Bingham testified that he and his companion went to Broadmoor Drive and that his companion left Bingham's vehicle while Bingham remained in the driver's seat. Bingham testified that his companion returned a short time later with some tools and then left again. According to Bingham, after his companion left and failed to return, he began backing up in an effort to locate his companion and that it was then that the police pulled in behind him. Bingham testified that he drove off because he had some outstanding traffic tickets. Bingham further maintained that at no time did he ever enter either Williams's or Wheat's vehicles.

ANALYS ...


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