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Evans v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 10, 2013

KEWON EVANS, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: BOLIVAR COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/04/2011. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. CHARLES E. WEBSTER. TRIAL COURT CONVICTED OF SEVEN COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND SENTENCED TO SERVE FIVE YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FOR EACH COUNT, TO BE SERVED CONSECUTIVELY, FOR A TOTAL OF THIRTY-FIVE YEARS, AND TO MAKE FULL RESTITUTION TO EACH VICTIM.

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED.

FOR APPELLANT: SANFORD E. KNOTT.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: SCOTT STUART.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART AND IN THE RESULT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 370

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

MAXWELL, J.

¶1. In the appeal of his conviction of seven counts of aggravated assault, Kewon Evans raises a single challenge. He asserts that, during voir dire, the trial judge improperly secured from potential jury members a commitment to find Evans guilty.

¶2. While it is impermissible to ask the jury to pledge a verdict based on a hypothetical question couched in the particular facts of the case, here we find the trial judge did not ask for such a pledge. Instead, he asked questions to ascertain any preconceived notions about what type of evidence the State would have to produce in order to find Evans guilty. Because asking these questions was well within the trial judge's discretion, we find no reversible error. We affirm Evans's conviction.

Background

¶3. On the night of September 14, 2010, Evans got into a fight outside of Club Platinum in Gunnison, Mississippi. According to two eyewitnesses, Evans began shooting toward the club. The bullets penetrated the club's walls, hitting seven patrons. An eighth person was injured during the ensuing chaos.

¶4. The State charged Evans with eight counts of aggravated assault. After the State rested, the trial judge granted Evans a directed verdict on count eight--the assault count involving the injured victim who had not been shot. The seven remaining counts were submitted to the jury, who found Evans guilty on each count. The trial judge sentenced him to five years' imprisonment ...


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