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Clark v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 27, 2013

Jermil CLARK a/k/a Jermail Clark, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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W. Daniel Hinchcliff, George T. Holmes, Jackson, Bentley E. Conner, Flora, attorneys for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Billy L. Gore, attorney for appellee.

EN BANC.

CARLTON, J.

¶ 1. On October 6, 2011, a Madison County grand jury indicted Clark for kidnapping and aggravated domestic violence. After a trial held on March 12, 2011, a jury found Clark guilty of aggravated domestic violence by strangulation but acquitted Clark of the kidnapping charge. The trial judge sentenced Clark as a habitual offender to serve twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), to run consecutively to a previous sentence. Clark now appeals his sentence and conviction. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 2. On June 18, 2011, Tremekia Sims arrived home to the apartment she shared with her sister at the Canton Garden Apartments in Canton, Mississippi. Sims's boyfriend, Clark, was waiting at the apartment, and upon Sims's arrival, Clark expressed anger that Sims had been out all night. Sims testified that Clark " ran up and caught [her] around the waist and around the neck" and ordered her to open the door to the apartment before he broke her neck. Clark threw Sims into the apartment and threatened that " if [he] wanted to do something to [her], [he could] easily get [her]." Sims testified that the two began to argue. Sims stated that after she answered a phone call from a girlfriend, the argument escalated into a fight. Sims explained that Clark thought that based on Sims's phone conversation, she was cheating on him.

¶ 3. On the following Monday, June 20, 2011, Sims told Clark that she was going to work, and she dropped him off at his mother's house. Instead of going to work, Sims went to her cousin's house because she did not want to go to work with bruises on her. Sims explained that she received the bruises after Clark hit her and pushed her into a wall. Sims also testified that after leaving her cousin's house on Monday, she went to the hospital to receive treatment for pain in her ribs resulting from Clark hitting her.

¶ 4. Sims's friend put her in touch with Virginia Parker of the Canton Victims' Assistance Program. Parker contacted Sims after the 2011 incident and took photographs of Sims to document the bruises on her arms and face. Parker and Sims both testified that Clark previously abused Sims in 2011. At trial, Parker also identified three color photographs of the prior injuries received by Sims in 2010. These photographs were admitted into evidence without objection.

¶ 5. After interviewing Sims, Parker contacted Kim Henderson, a children's sexual abuse investigator for the Madison County Sheriff's Department, about her conversation with Sims. Investigator Henderson met with Sims and photographed her recent injuries. Sims testified that she told Investigator Henderson that " [Clark] jumped on me for the weekend." Investigator Henderson provided

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testimony recounting the details of her conversation with Sims, wherein Sims told Investigator Henderson that Clark had written a suicide note trying to convince Sims to come home. Sims told Investigator Henderson that as she put her key in the door of the apartment, Clark approached her from behind, put one hand ...


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