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Rickman v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 6, 2014

MATTHEW THOMAS RICKMAN A/K/A MATTHEW RICKMAN, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/29/2013.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PEARL RIVER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ANTHONY ALAN MOZINGO. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND SENTENCED AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER TO THIRTY YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE.

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

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

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

OPINION

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

Page 984

MAXWELL, J.

¶1. Matthew Rickman was convicted of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer after he severely beat a jailer with a sock full of bars of soap, then repeatedly kicked the unconscious man, breaking his hip and pelvis. Rickman now appeals challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. Based on video-surveillance footage and Rickman's in-court admission to beating the jailer, as well as testimony from the victim and that of another witness who discovered the bloody crime scene, we find the evidence indisputably and overwhelmingly supports Rickman's aggravated-assault conviction. We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

¶2. On February 20, 2012, Rickman was detained in the Millard Correction Center in Pearl River County awaiting trial on several felony charges.[1] While in

Page 985

jail, Rickman deliberately jammed the locking mechanism on his cell with a toothbrush and piece of a t-shirt. When night-shift supervisor Enos Van Amburgh, a corrections officer with the Pearl River County Sheriff's Department, walked past Rickman's jail cell, Rickman opened the door and hit Van Amburgh over the head with a long sock containing solid bars of soap. Van Amburgh fell to the ground, losing consciousness, and Rickman continued hitting and kicking him.

¶3. On June 14, 2012, Rickman was indicted, as a habitual offender,[2] for aggravated assault on an officer. At trial, which began on January 9, 2013, Captain Butch Raby, the chief of security, testified that when he arrived shortly after the attack, he saw a trail of blood on the floor and blood splattered on the walls and ceilings. Van Amburgh's left eye was blue and swollen shut. He also had abrasions and scratches on his head and hands and was bleeding from his nose. Photographs confirming Van Amburgh's injuries ...


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