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Edwards v. State

February 09, 1999

JOHN WAYNE EDWARDS AND MARGIE ANN APPELLANTS EDWARDS
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



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

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/18/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. MARCUS D. GORDON

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MARGIE EDWARDS - CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER: SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 8 YRS IN THE MDOC; JOHN WAYNE - CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER: SENTENCED TO A TERM OF 8 YRS IN THE MDOC

DISPOSITION: REVERSED AND RENDERED - 2/9/99

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. This case is an appeal from the conviction of John Edwards and Margie Edwards for culpable negligence manslaughter in the death of their four year old child, who drowned during a camping trip on a sandbar below Low Head Dam on the Pearl River. We reverse and render.

I.

Facts

¶2. John and Margie Edwards, together with their three children and a number of friends, went on a camping and boating excursion in Scott County. The participants set up a camping area on a sandbar on the Pearl River. They engaged in such activities as swimming and boating and had built a campfire on the sandbar. Tragically, at about 2:00 a.m., Michael Edwards, the four year old child of the defendants, was discovered to be missing. The child's body was recovered from the river early the next morning and the cause of death was determined to be fresh water drowning.

ΒΆ3. John and Margie Edwards, along with another participant in the outing, Norman Beaugez, were indicted for culpable negligence manslaughter under Section 97-3-47 of the Mississippi Code of 1972. The indictment, though meeting the bare-bones provisions of Section 99-7-37 to charge the crime of manslaughter, stated only that the defendants "did unlawfully, feloniously, by culpable negligence, and without authority of law, kill Michael Wayne Edwards . . . ." Because of the form of the indictment, the particular facts relied on by the State to substantiate a ...


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