David Keon BRAGGS a/k/a David Keen Braggs a/k/a David K. Braggs a/k/a David Braggs a/k/a David Keon Bragg a/k/a David K. Bragg, Appellant
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.
William R. Labarre, W. Daniel Hinchcliff, George T. Holmes, Jackson, Virginia Lynn Watkins, attorneys for appellant.
Office of the Attorney General by W. Glenn Watts, attorney for appellee.
Before IRVING, P.J., CARLTON and JAMES, JJ.
¶ 1. David Keon Braggs appeals his conviction for armed robbery and sentence of twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Finding no reversible error, we affirm Braggs's conviction and sentence.
¶ 2. On November 16, 2000, four individuals robbed the Trustmark National Bank in Jackson, Mississippi. Witnesses observed the men exit the bank carrying a bag and guns, and drive off in a vehicle. After a dye pack in the money bag exploded, the men abandoned their vehicle and ran. Officers from the Jackson Police Department apprehended three of the robbers— Willie Horton, Sam John Oliver, and William Arilester Tellis— as they fled. Police officers later arrested and questioned Braggs on November 20, 2000. Braggs admitted to being with the perpetrators prior to the robbery, but he claimed he did not want to participate in the robbery and left before the three robbed the bank. A Hinds County grand jury indicted Braggs, Horton, Oliver, and Tellis for armed robbery pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-79 (Rev.2006). Horton, Oliver, and Tellis all pled guilty to armed robbery.
¶ 3. On November 15-17, 2004, a jury trial was held in the Hinds County Circuit Court. During the trial, the jury heard testimony from the following witnesses: Trustmark employees Charles Taylor, Mikki Smith, Theresa Havens, and Nicole Spires Brown; Norman McCarty and Traci Maloney, who were outside of the bank during the robbery; Wayne Humphreys, the corporate security officer for Trustmark; Officer Ned Garner of the Jackson Police Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agents Edward Parmelee, Norman Comeaux, Patrick Henson, and Brendan Sheehan; and Horton, Braggs's co-indictee.
¶ 4. The four Trustmark employees who were in the bank during the robbery testified for the State, giving their accounts of the robbery. None of the employees were able to identify Braggs as having been in the bank. They did, however, report seeing four robbers in the bank during the robbery. Photographs of the surveillance tape from the day of the robbery were also admitted into evidence. During Horton's testimony, he stated that he did not want to testify against Braggs, and he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights upon being questioned by the prosecutors.
¶ 5. At the close of the State's case, the defense moved for a directed verdict, which the trial court denied. The jury convicted Braggs of armed robbery, and the trial court sentenced Braggs to a term of twenty-five years in the custody of the MDOC. Braggs subsequently filed a motion for a new trial or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on November 23, 2004, which the trial court denied.
Braggs now appeals. He raises one assignment of error, claiming that his defense counsel at trial was ineffective, ...