Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Anderson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 21, 2014

MICHAEL T. ANDERSON A/K/A MICHAEL ANDERSON A/K/A MICHAEL THERONE ANDERSON, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/30/2012

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/30/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WINSTON L. KIDD. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND FELON IN POSSESSION OF FIREARM, AND SENTENCED AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER TO THREE LIFE SENTENCES TO BE SERVED CONSECUTIVELY IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.

         FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, BY: MOLLIE MARIE MCMILLIN.

         FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: LADONNA C. HOLLAND.

         BEFORE IRVING, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING, P.J., ISHEE, ROBERTS AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND MAXWELL, JJ., CONCUR IN PART AND IN THE RESULT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

          OPINION

Page 1016

         CARLTON, J.

         [¶1] Michael Anderson was convicted of murder, aggravated assault, and felon in possession of a firearm in the Hinds County Circuit Court. The trial court sentenced Anderson to serve three life sentences without the possibility of parole in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, one life sentence for each count in the indictment. Anderson now appeals his conviction and sentence. Finding no error, we affirm.

Page 1017

         FACTS

         [¶2] On April 10, 2009, Anderson shot and killed Drystle Sanders in front of the Triple-A store in Jackson, Mississippi. The record reflects disputed events at the Triple-A store culminating in the shooting death of Sanders. However, the record reflects no dispute existed as to the activities of Sanders, Sylvester Coleman, their mothers, and Coleman's stepbrother during that evening, prior to driving to the Triple-A store, as well as the events occurring subsequent to the shooting.

         [¶3] Sanders and his mother, Wysia Sanders, along with Ernestine Coleman, Sylvester Coleman, and Ernestine's stepson, Travis Brown, spent time that evening together pleasantly visiting and hanging out, and drove to the Triple-A store to get chips, cigarettes, and beer. We will review the facts and events of the evening in question as set forth in the testimony of the various witnesses.

         [¶4] Coleman's mother, Ernestine Coleman, testified that she arrived to the Sanders home with Coleman, her son, and Travis Brown, her stepson, on the evening of April 10, 2009. Sanders and Wysia Sanders were inside of the house. Ernestine Coleman stated that she had been at the house for approximately thirty minutes before the group decided to go to the Triple-A store to purchase beer and cigarettes. Ernestine Coleman testified that when the group drove to the store, " [e]verybody was in a good mood . . . laughing, joking." Ernestine stated that she, Wysia Sanders, and Brown remained inside of the car, while Coleman and Sanders went inside to purchase beer and cigarettes.

         [¶5] Another witness, Wysia Sanders, testified that on April 10, 2009, she picked up her son, Sanders, from his job at Labor Finders around approximately 3:30 p.m. Wysia Sanders testified that she had not seen her son all day, until she picked him up from work. Wysia Sanders stated that after picking up Sanders, the two purchased something to eat, then stopped by to visit a friend at the funeral home. She then dropped off Sanders at his friend's house to play " videos or something [and listen] to music." Wysia Sanders stated that Sanders's girlfriend dropped him back off at home around 10:30 p.m. Wysia Sanders testified that Ernestine Coleman, Coleman, and Brown then arrived at the house, and the group " [sat] around laughing and grinning and talking." Wysia Sanders stated that Coleman and Sanders expressed that they wanted to purchase more cigarettes, so Ernestine Coleman offered to drive everyone to the store. Wysia Sanders also testified that on the way to the store, " everybody was happy." When asked on cross-examination whether Sanders and Coleman intended to purchase cigarettes and beer at the Triple-A, Wysia Sanders answered " cigarettes."

         [¶6] Coleman testified that he, his mother, and stepbrother arrived at the Sanders home at 7 p.m. on April 10, 2009.[1] Coleman stated that while at the house, " we sat around a little while," watching television. He further testified that: " We had brought a couple of beers with us and we ran out and we was going back to the store to get some more."

         [¶7] Travis Brown testified that on the afternoon before the shooting, he, Coleman, and Ernestine Coleman " [were] chilling" at home, " having fun." The trio decided to ride around, and ended up at the Sanders house at approximately 10 p.m. Once at the Sanders's house, Brown testified

Page 1018

that the group played dominoes, and eventually decided to go to the store " to get a few beers and get us a couple of snacks." Brown admitted that " [w]e had a few drinks." The testimony reflecting the activities throughout the evening reflect that no dispute exists that Sanders, along with Coleman and Brown, consumed some beer together while hanging out that evening.

         The Store

         [¶8] Different witnesses perceived different pieces of the events occurring at the Triple-A store that culminated in the shooting death of Sanders. At the Triple-A, Anderson (the appellant) maintains that he was outside of the store when Sanders and Coleman walked into the store. Ernestine Coleman, Brown, and Wysia Sanders all testified that they remained inside their car while Sanders and Coleman went into the store to buy beer and snacks.

         [¶9] Anderson testified that he " spoke with a hand gesture" to the two women in the car, and according to Anderson, the women did not speak to him. Anderson testified that he went into the store and spoke to the clerk. He testified that he told the clerk that he felt he needed to clean up his act because the women had looked at him like he was " from another planet." Anderson testified that after his conversation with the clerk, Sanders told him that the women were his and Coleman's mothers.

         [¶10] However, the record reflects Coleman's testimony that he possessed no recollection of speaking to Anderson in the store, and Coleman also testified that he recalled Sanders exited the store before Coleman. Coleman's testimony reflects that he recalled no conversation with Anderson inside of the store, but Anderson testified differently, providing that Sanders seemed agitated and stormed out of the store with Coleman. Anderson testified that after he purchased his items, he then exited the store. Upon leaving the store, Anderson provided testimony claiming that he was hit in the back of the head and knocked to the ground. Anderson also testified that he raised up his hands to protect his head, and that he was hit again. Anderson testified that after he was hit the second time, a gun fell to the ground. Anderson testified that he grabbed the gun and testified that he then shot Sanders in self-defense. Anderson testified that after shooting Sanders, he walked home to his mother's house. Curiously, the police investigation of the shooting revealed two different types of bullet casings, fired from two different guns, at the scene, and trial testimony reflects that no witnesses saw Sanders with a gun.

         [¶11] With respect to Sanders's companion in the store, Coleman testified that when he walked out of the Triple-A Store, he saw Sanders and another man " tussling." Shots were fired, and Coleman heard a gunshot and saw Sanders fall to the ground. Coleman testified that the shooter, later identified as Anderson, then turned and pointed the gun at him (Coleman). Anderson fired at Coleman as Coleman started running away from the store and out of the parking lot. Coleman testified that he fled after he saw Anderson shoot Sanders, and he testified that his mother, Ernestine, drove away and picked him up on a nearby street, around the corner. The group in the car (Coleman, Ernestine, Brown, and Wysia Sanders) then returned to the store to check on Sanders. Coleman explained that as he, his mother, Wysia Sanders, and Brown drove back to the store to check on Sanders, they passed Anderson as he was walking " the opposite way from the store" on Ridgeway Street. Coleman testified that as the car approached the store, Anderson began shooting at the car as he walked down

Page 1019

Ridgeway Street away from the store.

         [¶12] The record reflects that the store clerk had already exited the store to check on Sanders, as well. The record shows that Sanders suffered several gunshot wounds, and was pronounced dead on the scene by law enforcement and medical personnel. Investigators recovered five spent 9 millimeter cartridge casings on and around Sanders's body, and found two more spent 9 millimeter cartridge casings 120 feet away from Sanders's body. Brian McIntyre, a forensic scientist at the Mississippi Crime Laboratory, testified that the casings were fired from two separate guns -- all five casings recovered from on and around Sanders's body were fired from one gun, and the two casings located 120 feet from Sanders's body were fired from a second gun.

         [¶13] With respect to events subsequent to the shooting, off-duty Jackson Police Department Investigator Garland Ward was exiting the establishment next door to the Triple-A Store at the time of the murder. Ward testified that he was walking to his vehicle when he heard a commotion in the nearby lot. He heard two shots, saw Sanders fall to the ground, and saw Anderson standing over Sanders, lying on the ground, aiming the gun at him. Ward saw Coleman running from the store yelling at the occupants of a car to " get down." Ward immediately called another investigator and heard more shots while he was on the phone. When he looked back toward the scene, he testified that he saw Anderson walking off away from the store and down the road. Ward later identified Anderson from a photo lineup.

         [¶14] Another witness at the shooting, Stephen Johnson, testified that he was driving past the convenience store when he saw Sanders lying on the ground. As Johnson pulled in to the lot, he saw Anderson stand over Sanders and fire two more shots. Johnson stated that he and Anderson made eye contact, and then Johnson witnessed Anderson walking off. Then, as Johnson pulled out of the lot, he testified that he saw a woman walk out of the store. Johnson testified that the woman went up to Sanders's body and " looked at it, leaned over, and walked back inside the store." At trial, Johnson identified Anderson as the shooter.

         [¶15] Ernestine testified that after driving away from the Triple-A after Sanders was shot, she picked up Coleman down the street and around the corner from the store. After he got in the car, Ernestine drove back to the store. She testified that as they drove back to the store, she witnessed Anderson " coming on the side of the store walking, shooting. . . . [H]e was shooting at my car or us."

         [¶16] Brown, Ernestine's stepson and Coleman's stepbrother, testified that he was sitting in the car outside of the Triple-A while Coleman and Sanders were in the store. Brown looked up and witnessed Anderson and Sanders " tussling" outside of the store. Brown instructed his stepmother to open the door, and began helping her locate the locks on the car door. Brown testified that he heard gunshots, looked up, and saw Sanders fall. Brown testified that he then witnessed Anderson start shooting at Coleman. Brown stated that Coleman instructed Brown, Ernestine Coleman, and Wysia Sanders to drive away from the store, and Coleman followed, running after them. Brown testified that they stopped the car on the next street so that Coleman could get in, and then they made a block around the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.