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Abeyta v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

May 1, 2014

RYAN ALLEN ABEYTA a/k/a RYAN A. ABEYTA a/k/a RYAN ABEYTA
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

Page 306

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 307

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/06/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS, JR. TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: LISA D. COLLUMS, MICHAEL DYKES, SCOTT LUSK, CHRIS DANIEL.

FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, BY: BENJAMIN ALLEN SUBER.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: MELANIE DOTSON THOMAS.

BEFORE WALLER, C.J., CHANDLER AND KING, JJ. WALLER, C.J., DICKINSON AND RANDOLPH, P.JJ., LAMAR, KITCHENS, PIERCE, KING AND COLEMAN, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 308

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

CHANDLER, JUSTICE.

¶1. A Harrison County jury convicted Ryan Abeyta of the murder of his mother, and the Circuit Court of Harrison County sentenced him to life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Abeyta appeals, arguing that he was entitled to a jury instruction on heat-of-passion manslaughter, that the evidence of deliberate design was insufficient to support the verdict, and that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting gruesome photographs of the victim. We find

Page 309

that Abeyta's issues are without merit and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

FACTS

¶2. On October 10, 2010, Abeyta, age twenty-nine, was living with his mother, Pamela Santiago, in Gulfport, Mississippi. According to Pamela's best friend and neighbor, Sheila Ford, Abeyta was a heavy drug and alcohol user who routinely took Santiago's debit and credit cards to purchase drinks at a nearby bar. Ford testified that she visited Santiago on the morning of October 10. During the visit, Santiago noticed that her debit card was missing. Ford said that Santiago was upset because Abeyta's unauthorized use of the debit card had been a persistent problem. After ...


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