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Harris v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 9, 2014

DETRICK DEWAYNE HARRIS A/K/A DETRICK HARRIS A/K/A DETRICK D. HARRIS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/13/2012.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WINSTON L. KIDD.

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

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: JEFFREY A. KLINGFUSS.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE AND ROBERTS, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. CARLTON, J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION, JOINED IN PART BY JAMES, J. CARLTON, J., CONCURRING IN PART AND DISSENTING IN PART.

OPINION

Page 192

IRVING, P.J.

[¶1] A Hinds County jury convicted Detrick Dewayne Harris of burglary of a dwelling, armed robbery, automobile theft, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The circuit court sentenced Harris, as a habitual offender, to four consecutive life sentences, one for each count, all in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, without eligibility for parole. Feeling aggrieved, Harris appeals and argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his armed-robbery and felon-in-possession-of-a-weapon convictions.

[¶2] Finding that the evidence is sufficient to sustain Harris's armed-robbery conviction, we affirm. However, because we find the evidence insufficient to sustain Harris's felon-in-possession-of-a-weapon conviction, we reverse and render this conviction.

FACTS

[¶3] A Hinds County grand jury indicted Harris on four different counts. The indictment, in pertinent part, reads:

Detrick Harris . . . did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attempt to take or take from the person or from the presence of Clyde Rogers certain personal property, to-wit: a purse and its contents,

Page 193

or any property, the personal property of Clyde Rogers, and against the will of Clyde Rogers by violence to his/her person or putting such person in fear of immediate injury to his/her person by exhibition of a deadly weapon, to wit, a butcher knife, in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated § 97-3-79 [(Rev. 2006)], as amended,
****
did willfully, unlawfully, have in his/her possession a certain deadly weapon, to-wit: a butcher knife, he[,] the said Detrick Harris, having been previously convicted of a felony, to wit: the crime of [r]obbery in the Circuit Court of Lauderdale County, Mississippi[.]

Harris filed a motion to dismiss the armed-robbery and felon-in-possession-of-a-weapon charges in the indictment, alleging that the knife that the State intended to introduce as evidence of the armed-robbery and felon-in-possession-of-a-weapon charges is merely a kitchen steak knife, which does not constitute a deadly weapon pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-79 (Rev. 2006) or a butcher knife pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-37-5(1) (Supp. 2013). The circuit court denied the motion, stating that it would allow the jury to decide whether or not the defendant used a deadly weapon or butcher knife in the commission of the crimes. During trial, after the State rested its case, Harris moved for a directed verdict, alleging again that the knife ...


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