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Terry v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 26, 2013

Michael Dewayne TERRY a/k/a Michael Terry a/k/a Michael D. Terry, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 947

Office of State Public Defender by George T. Holmes, attorney for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Stephanie Breland Wood, attorney for appellee.

Before IRVING, P.J., ROBERTS and JAMES, JJ.

JAMES, J.

¶ 1. Michael Dewayne Terry was indicted for burglary of a dwelling. A jury trial was held, resulting in a guilty verdict. Terry was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with three years suspended. On appeal, Terry asserts that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict and his post-trial motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Finding that there is material evidence to support the guilty verdict, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 2. Lenester Harris's apartment was burglarized in the early morning hours of March 15, 2010, while Harris was at work. The apartment was located at the Academy apartments in Tunica, Mississippi. Harris told investigators that the items stolen included: CDs, DVDs, three DVD players, a Direct TV access card, a class ring, a Play Station 2, a CD player, two cell phones, dog food, soap, and Hot Pockets. Investigator Rico Harris of the Tunica County Sheriff's Department led the investigation. During the course of the investigation, Terry, Ernest Bowman, Michael Jamison, and Kendale Dorsey became persons of interest. As a result, investigators executed a search warrant at the home of Pamela Bass, where Jamison and Bowman resided. The search resulted in the recovery of several items taken from the Harris home. A Tunica County grand jury indicted Terry, Bowman, Jamison, and Dorsey for burglary of a dwelling pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-17-23 (Rev.2006). The case against Dorsey was remanded to youth court. Jamison and Bowman entered guilty pleas.

¶ 3. Terry's trial was held on July 2-3, 2012, in Tunica County Circuit Court. During the State's case, the jury heard testimony from the following witnesses: Deputy Louise Linzy, Investigator Rico Harris, Lenester Harris, Dorsey, and Bowman.

¶ 4. During Lenester Harris's testimony, she identified items recovered from the Bass home as items taken from her home. She further testified that she was familiar with Terry from around the apartment

Page 948

complex and stated that Terry was romantically involved with her daughter.

¶ 5. Both Dorsey and Bowman testified for the prosecution. Dorsey testified that he, Terry, Jamison, and Bowman were at the Academy apartments on the night of March 14, 2010. Dorsey stated that Terry removed the screen from an apartment window and lifted the window sash, allowing Dorsey to climb in and open the door for the others. Upon entering the apartment, the group stole various items. However, Dorsey was unable to state which apartment they burglarized.

¶ 6. Likewise, Bowman testified that he, Jamison, Dorsey, and several others were at the Academy apartments on March 14, 2010, when they were approached by Terry, who said that he " knew of a little ‘ stang’ they could get into." [1] Like Dorsey, Bowman testified that Terry opened the window and that Dorsey climbed inside in order to open the door for the others. Bowman was able to describe in detail the items that they took from the apartment, which was consistent with Harris's testimony. Bowman also testified that Terry told him that he (Terry) dated the owner of the apartment's daughter.

¶ 7. At the close of the State's case, the defense moved for a directed verdict claiming that the evidence was legally insufficient to support a conviction for burglary. The judge denied the motion and the defense rested without presenting any evidence. The jury found Terry guilty of burglary of a dwelling. Terry then filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or in the alternative, a motion for a new trial, which the trial court denied. Terry was ...


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