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Winn v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 3, 2013

Darnell WINN a/k/a Nell, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Rehearing Denied Dec. 10, 2013.

Page 290

Leslie S. Lee, Jackson, Sanford E. Knott, Justin Taylor Cook, Marvell Maurice Gordon, Jackson, attorneys for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by W. Glenn Watts, attorney for appellee.

Before IRVING, P.J., ISHEE and FAIR, JJ.

FAIR, J.

¶ 1. Darnell Winn was convicted of aggravated assault in the attempted shooting of Robert Johnson, his stepbrother. Winn's argument on appeal is essentially that because the bullet did not hit Johnson, there is insufficient evidence he intended it to. We do not find this argument persuasive and conclude a rational trier of fact could have found that Winn simply missed.

FACTS

¶ 2. Winn and Johnson had known each other for nearly all their lives. Their relationship soured while they were in college, after their girlfriends began feuding over a television they had once shared as roommates. On April 2, 2010, Good Friday, Johnson and Winn found themselves together at a convenience store in their hometown of Hollandale. Both girlfriends were present, as were numerous other

Page 291

people they knew. Winn approached Johnson and they began arguing about what one had previously said about the other. A fight ensued that could only be described as mutually joined.

¶ 3. According to the State's witnesses, Johnson eventually got the upper hand and decisively knocked Winn down in a way that evoked laughter from the spectators. Winn then made a threatening remark about his " iron" and stated " it's not over." After being pulled back into his girlfriend's car, Winn came out with a pistol. He fired a single shot into Johnson's vehicle as it was leaving the parking lot. The shot did not hit anyone, but it shattered the front passenger's side window. Each of the passengers in the vehicle with Johnson claimed to have seen Winn fire the shot.

¶ 4. Winn testified in his own defense, denying he lost the fight. He claimed he was being restrained by a friend when the shot was fired and did not see where it came from. At the time, he believed it was Johnson who had shot at him. Winn's denial was corroborated by several witnesses, who acknowledged a shot was fired, but not by Winn. None could say where the shot came from, however.

¶ 5. The jury convicted Winn of aggravated assault, and he was sentenced to eight years, with three to serve. He appeals contending the verdict was unsupported by sufficient evidence or, in the ...


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