DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/27/2011.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT B. HELFRICH. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF COUNTS II, III, AND IV, SHOOTING INTO A DWELLING, AND SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS ON EACH COUNT, WITH TEN YEARS SUSPENDED FOR COUNT IV ONLY, FOLLOWED BY FIVE YEARS OF POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION, AND TO PAY A $5,000 FINE AND $250 IN RESTITUTION TO THE FORREST COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S FUND AND $100 TO THE MISSISSIPPI CRIME VICTIMS' COMPENSATION PROGRAM, WITH ALL SENTENCES TO RUN CONSECUTIVELY IN THE CUSTODY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.
FOR APPELLANT: GAY L. POLK-PAYTON, IMHOTEP ALKEBU-LAN.
FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BILLY L. GORE.
BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND ISHEE, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
¶1. John Jackson was convicted in the Forrest County Circuit Court in December 2011 of three counts of shooting into an
occupied dwelling. He was sentenced to ten years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) for each count, with the sentences to run consecutively. Aggrieved, Jackson now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
¶2. In July 2010, Jackson, a divorced father of two young children, was working as a barback at the Remington Hunt Club in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. On the evening of July 25, 2010, Jackson was working at the club when Kelvin Gholar, a patron at the club who prefers the nickname " Doom," threw a drink at a female but missed and hit Jackson in the face. Jackson, who had previously worked as a security guard at the club, detained Gholar and had him removed from the club.
¶3. Shortly thereafter, club employees told Jackson that his 1998 baby blue and navy Ford Crown Victoria had been severely vandalized. Upon hearing the news, Jackson went outside to look at his vehicle and saw several men running from the vehicle. Although he chased them, he could not catch them and did not see their faces.
¶4. At 3:48 a.m. on July 26, 2010, Jackson clocked out of work. He went to the parking lot to further inspect his vehicle. He discovered that the windshield was completely shattered, the passenger window was cracked, the tires were slashed, and the exterior of the vehicle had been keyed. He noticed that a police officer was standing at the end of the parking lot directing the traffic exiting the club. Jackson testified that he drove the vehicle up to the police officer to ask if the officer had seen any of the vandalism. The officer responded that he had not seen anything, so Jackson drove the vehicle back to the front of the club.
¶5. Jackson then went inside and told the club's owner, William Norris, what had occurred. After discussing the incident with Jackson, Norris pulled up the surveillance videos to investigate. Norris, along with numerous other witnesses, testified on Jackson's behalf at trial. Norris stated that the club has thirty-two cameras, and it took the men approximately twenty minutes to go through the footage, which produced no results due to the angle of the camera located near Jackson's vehicle. Norris was unsure of the exact time of Jackson's arrival to his office, but knew that Jackson had already clocked out when he came to him about the incident. Norris also stated that Jackson was present for longer than twenty minutes since they discussed the incident prior to reviewing the surveillance footage. By Norris's estimation, Jackson would have left his office sometime after 4:00 a.m.
¶6. Coworkers present in the parking lot with Jackson testified that they observed Jackson come out of the club after reviewing the surveillance footage. Several of Jackson's coworkers discussed the incident briefly with him before leaving the parking lot. The ...