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Mickell v. State

March 25, 1999

KERMIT O'NEAL MICKELL
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Prather, Chief Justice

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/18/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN H. WHITFIELD

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: CONO CARANNA

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

DISPOSITION: REVERSED AND REMANDED - 3/25/1999

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

EN BANC.

¶1. Kermit O'Neal Mickell was found guilty of armed robbery in the Circuit Court of Harrison County, Mississippi and sentenced to fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Finding error in Mickell's trial, we reverse and remand for a new trial.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

¶2. Kermit Mickell was charged with committing an armed robbery of Bond's Food Store on the afternoon of March 10, 1995. The store clerk, Charlene Bradford, testified that Mickell came to the counter with a quart of beer, and in response to her request, produced his identification and then pulled a gun and demanded that Bradford open the cash drawer. Bradford testified that she placed the money on the counter and then complied with Mickell's instructions to kneel down on the floor. She then testified that Mickell grabbed the cash and walked out the door.

¶3. A Harrison County Deputy Sheriff responded to the call regarding the robbery and was told by Bradford that the person who robbed her drove from the store in a green Cadillac. The deputy located the car within 10-15 minutes of the robbery, and a high speed chase resulted. Mickell was apprehended after the deputy shot the tire of the vehicle. No gun was ever recovered.

ΒΆ4. At trial, Mickell took the stand in his own defense and testified that he did go into the store to purchase beer, but left without paying for the beer after he and the clerk argued about his identification. While conducting cross-examination of Mickell, the prosecutor, without objection, asked Mickell whether he had attempted to sell a pistol to one of his co-workers the same day the incident took place. After the State presented its rebuttal case, Mickell's attorney moved for a mistrial based on the fact that the State produced no witnesses to the effect that Mickell had ...


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