DAREOUS RICO BRYANT A/K/A DAREOUS BRYANT A/K/A RICO BRYANT, APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/13/2012.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: NOXUBEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LEE J. HOWARD. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF MURDER AND SENTENCED TO LIFE IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.
FOR APPELLANT: JUSTIN MICHAEL TAYLOR.
FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: MELANIE DOTSON THOMAS.
BEFORE IRVING, P.J., MAXWELL AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
¶1. Dareous Rico Bryant was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Bryant filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a motion for a new trial. The trial court denied his motion. Bryant now appeals raising the following issues: whether the trial court erred by not conducting a hearing on jury tampering and whether there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Finding no error, we affirm.
¶2. On May 1, 2009, Bryant threw a birthday party at the Bee Hive Club in Shuqualak, Mississippi. Bryant arrived at the club between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. Bryant gave Mary Nailer, the owner of the club, a gun and asked her if she would hold it for him. Nailer then hid the gun behind the bar away from the patrons. There are varied accounts of what happened next, but the salient facts are as follows. A group of female guests got into a fight that started in the club and moved outside. Bryant went outside to break up the fight. After Bryant returned to the club, another fight occurred between a person known only as " Lil G" and Jeremy Peyton. Lil G had a weapon, chased Peyton, and may have shot at him as they ran down the street in front of the club.
¶3. There were two additional fights; one of the fights, however, involved Bryant's brother, Deon Bryant, and Hendricks Malone. Michael Taylor and the victim, Lamarco Tate, were with Malone during the confrontation. Malone and Deon had exchanged heated comments earlier in the evening. Bryant and Deon left the club together and walked toward the stop sign by the club where the confrontation between Malone and Deon had taken place. According to various witness statements, Deon punched Malone and then Tate punched Deon. According to Javacus Gillespie, a witness, after Tate punched Deon, Bryant pulled the gun from his waistband and shot Tate. After the incident, the club was closed for two weeks. Nailer testified that when she returned to the club, Bryant's gun was missing.
¶4. At trial, Bryant testified that once Tate was shot, multiple people started shooting; however, he did not identify who was shooting. Bryant testified that he did not have a gun on him at the time of the shooting. Further, Bryant stated that he did not know Tate and bore no ill will against him. According to ...