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Williams v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 13, 2013

Andranette WILLIAMS, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 106

Benjamin A. Suber, attorney for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Elliott George Flaggs, attorney for appellee.

Before GRIFFIS, P.J., ROBERTS and CARLTON, JJ.

CARLTON, J.

¶ 1. A jury in the Quitman County Circuit Court convicted Andranette Williams of felonious child abuse. The trial court then sentenced Williams to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), followed by five years of post-release supervision.

¶ 2. Williams now appeals, asserting the following issues: (1) the jury's verdict was based on insufficient evidence; (2) the jury's verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence; and (3) the trial court erroneously admitted the photographs into evidence.

¶ 3. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 4. On the morning of January 21, 2010, Dalisha Davis discovered that her cousin's sixteen-month-old daughter, K.W., had suffered severe burns around large portions of her lower body.[1] The night prior to the discovery of K.W.'s injuries, K.W. stayed at the home of Mary Davis, K.W.'s great-grandmother. Several family members resided at Mary's home, and on the evening in question, some of the residents of the home testified that they saw or heard K.W.'s mother, Williams, in the bathroom with K.W., attempting to potty train her.

¶ 5. Specifically, Mary testified at trial that she heard K.W. hollering and crying after Williams took her into the bathroom. Mary claimed, however, that she never saw K.W. after Williams and K.W. came out of the bathroom, but when she woke

Page 107

up the next morning, she could not stand to look at K.W.'s feet because of the peeling skin on them.

¶ 6. Kenyana Tennin, K.W.'s cousin, testified that while Williams was in the bathroom attempting to potty train K.W. on the evening of January 20, 2010, Tennin saw Williams using a belt to spank K.W., who was on the toilet. Tennin claimed that she heard K.W. fall off of the toilet and hit her head on the counter. Tennin also testified that Williams was the only person who bathed K.W. while at Mary's home, and that she heard bath water running while Williams and K.W. were in the bathroom.

¶ 7. Chantella Gayden, another of K.W.'s cousins, testified that on the evening in question, the bathroom door was closed, but she heard K.W. crying. She testified that after she heard Williams spanking K.W. in the bathroom, she saw Williams put ice over K.W.'s eye.

¶ 8. Dalisha also resided at Mary's residence at the time K.W. was injured. Dalisha testified that when she returned to Mary's home from work on the night in question, she saw Williams and Charles Willingham, K.W.'s father, outside with K.W. wrapped in a sheet. After asking them why they were outside, Williams told Dalisha that K.W. had a fever. Dalisha stated that she then entered the home and found steaming hot water in the bathtub, and she had to use an object to drain the water due to its high temperature. The next morning, January 21, 2010, Dalisha discovered blisters and peeling skin on K.W.'s legs as she took K.W.'s clothes off.[2] Dalisha called for an ambulance to come to the home. After observing K.W.'s injuries, the paramedics dispatched Chief Rena Wade-Taylor to the scene.

¶ 9. Chief Wade-Taylor of the Lambert Police Department testified that she noticed a bruise under K.W.'s left eye, along with severe burns on her lower body. Chief Wade-Taylor took pictures of K.W.'s injuries and her clothing. Chief Wade-Taylor testified that she asked Williams what happened to K.W., and Williams replied that she did not know. Chief Wade-Taylor testified that Williams admitted, however, to ...


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