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Fortenberry v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 25, 2014

RAYMOND FORTENBERRY, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

As Corrected May 1, 2014.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PIKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/20/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. MICHAEL M. TAYLOR. TRIAL COURT CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND SENTENCED TO TWENTY YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WITH TEN YEARS SUSPENDED, TEN YEARS TO SERVE, AND FIVE YEARS OF POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION, AND ORDERED TO PAY A FINE OF $2,500 AND $4,289.59 IN RESTITUTION.

FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, BY: JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 110

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

IRVING, P.J.

¶1. A Pike County jury found Raymond Fortenberry guilty of aggravated assault, and the circuit court sentenced him to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with ten years suspended, ten years to serve, and five years of post-release supervision. Fortenberry filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, which the circuit court denied. Feeling aggrieved, Fortenberry appeals and argues that the verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence because he acted in self-defense.

¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶3. On the day of the incident giving rise to this charge, Fortenberry approached Delwin Robinson while Robinson was sitting on Robinson's parents' front porch. Fortenberry asked Robinson for a cigarette, and after Robinson gave him the cigarette, Fortenberry stood in the yard while he and Robinson chatted. Fortenberry made a disrespectful remark to Robinson's father, who was outside mowing the lawn at that time. Robinson and Fortenberry began arguing, resulting in Robinson pushing Fortenberry. Fortenberry pushed him back, and Robinson responded with a punch. Robinson's father broke up the fight and told Robinson to go inside the house. As Robinson was turning to walk away, he noticed that Fortenberry was walking toward him. Robinson walked back toward Fortenberry. Fortenberry then reached around Robinson's father and punched Robinson in the face. The two began to tussle, and gunshots rang out. Robinson did not realize that he had been shot in the leg at that time, but noticed that Fortenberry had a gun in his hand. Robinson fell on top of Fortenberry as he was trying to wrestle the gun out of Fortenberry's hand. Robinson's father

Page 111

eventually separated the two men and retrieved ...


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