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Chapman v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 26, 2013

Anthony K. CHAPMAN, Jr. a/k/a Anthony Chapman a/k/a Anthony Kyle Chapman, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 960

Rodney A. Ray, Columbus, attorney for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Laura Hogan Tedder, attorney for appellee.

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

IRVING, P.J.

¶ 1. The Oktibbeha County Justice Court found Anthony K. Chapman Jr. guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), first offense. Chapman appealed to the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court, which, after a trial de novo, also found him guilty. Chapman filed a motion for reconsideration, which the court denied. Feeling aggrieved, Chapman appeals and argues that the circuit court's judgment was manifestly erroneous and clearly wrong because the State did not meet its burden of proof.

¶ 2. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 3. On September 11, 2010, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Officer Michael Hunter, with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department, received a call from dispatch reporting that a black truck was running over mailboxes on a residential street. Officer Hunter testified that as he was responding to that call, he received a second call from dispatch indicating that the same black truck had hit a boat on the same street. As Officer Hunter approached the scene, he spotted the truck described in the call. Officer Hunter stated that he got behind the truck and followed it for two minutes until the driver, later identified as Chapman, pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex. Officer Hunter pulled into the parking lot behind Chapman, activated his blue lights, got out of his vehicle, and approached Chapman's truck.

¶ 4. Officer Hunter noticed that part of the chrome grill on the front of the truck had been damaged. He asked Chapman about the mailboxes. Chapman responded that the truck's power steering had " gone out" and admitted that as a result, he had hit some mailboxes. Officer Hunter asked Chapman to step out of the truck. Officer Hunter stated that he could smell an " intoxicating beverage coming from" Chapman and that he observed two beer cans in the truck, which Chapman claimed were not his. He also noted that Chapman's speech was a little slurred, and when he

Page 961

asked Chapman if he had had anything to drink, Chapman responded that he had had six beers.

¶ 5. Deputy Charlie McVey, also with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department, arrived with a portable breathalyzer (PBT) and asked Chapman to submit to a test, but Chapman refused. Deputy McVey testified that there was no doubt in his mind that Chapman was intoxicated based on his refusal of the PBT, his words, and his actions. Officer Hunter arrested Chapman and took him to the police station. At the police station, Deputy McVey asked Chapman to take the Intoxilyzer test, which Chapman refused. Officer Hunter then conducted field sobriety tests. During the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, Officer Hunter noted that there were no clues of intoxication. When Chapman performed the walk-and-turn test, Officer Hunter noted that there were two clues of intoxication: Chapman put both of his thumbs in his belt loops, against Officer Hunter's instructions, and Chapman missed the heel-to-toe step on several of nine steps. During the one-leg-stand test, Officer Hunter observed one clue, as Chapman had raised his hands for balance. During trial, Chapman, arguing that the State had not met its burden of proof, moved for a directed verdict, which the court denied.

¶ 6. Additional facts, as necessary, will be related in our analysis and ...


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