ANTHONY CAROTHERS A/K/A ANTHONY CARROTHERS A/K/A ANTHONY CARRUTHERS A/K/A AMP, APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/04/2011.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAFAYETTE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ANDREW K. HOWORTH. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF COUNT I, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND SENTENCED TO TWENTY YEARS; COUNT II, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND SENTENCED TO TWENTY YEARS WITH FIVE YEARS TO SERVE AND FIFTEEN YEARS SUSPENDED, WITH THE SENTENCES TO RUN CONSECUTIVELY ALL IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, AND TO PAY A $1,000 FINE.
FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES, PHILLIP BROADHEAD.
FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: SCOTT STUART.
BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND ISHEE, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ROBERTS, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. IRVING, P.J., CONCURS IN PART AND IN THE RESULT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ., DISSENT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
¶1. In July 2011, a grand jury in Lafayette County, Mississippi, indicted Anthony Carothers on two counts of aggravated assault. The indictment charged Carothers with having shot at Sheena Carothers. It also charged that he later slammed her head into the pavement, punched, and kicked her. After a trial took place in the Lafayette County Circuit Court, Carothers was convicted of both counts of aggravated assault. The circuit judge sentenced him on each count to twenty years, with five years to serve and fifteen years suspended, with the sentences to run consecutively, all in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Carothers filed a motion for a judgement notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative, a new trial. The motion was denied. Aggrieved, Carothers appeals. Finding reversible error, we reverse and remand this case for a new trial consistent with the findings of this opinion.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
¶2. Carothers and Sheena are half siblings. The record indicates that Carothers used to take care of Sheena's children
often when she needed help. On March 18, 2011, Sheena took her children to Carothers's house for him to keep them while she went to a casino. Sheena was accompanied in her vehicle by her friend, Tanesshia Tyson, and Tyson's boyfriend, Jesse Booker. They entered Carothers's house, and Carothers indicated to Sheena that he was unable to watch the children at that time. An argument ensued between Sheena and Carothers. The record then varies as to the subsequent series of events.
¶3. Sheena exited the home, followed by Carothers. Tyson walked out behind Carothers. Tyson told authorities that she immediately noticed that Carothers was holding a gun. Carothers, who testified on his own behalf at trial, disputes this fact. According to Carothers, he eventually agreed to keep the children after Sheena went into a rage. He followed Sheena out of the home, unarmed, and attempted to get her young son out of the back seat. He claims Sheena then grabbed a heavy tool from inside her car and hurled it at him. He asserts that she missed him, but the tool broke her car window. He stated that she then got in her vehicle and started to back out of his driveway at a high rate of speed with the small boy in the back seat; he claims he chased them on foot but eventually lost sight of them. Carothers testified that once the vehicle was out of his sight, ...