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Keen v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 21, 2014

JONATHAN KEEN A/K/A JONATHAN SCOTT KEEN A/K/A JONATHAN S. KEEN, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT fro WHICH APPEALED: MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/22/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF CAPITAL MURDER AND SENTENCED, AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER, TO LIFE IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS WITHOUT ELIGIBILITY FOR PAROLE OR PROBATION.

FOR APPELLANT: BENJAMIN FREEMAN ROBINSON, MATTHEW ALLEN BALDRIDGE.

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

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

OPINION

Page 1040

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

IRVING, P.J.

[¶1] A Madison County grand jury indicted Jonathan Scott Keen for Count I, capital murder, pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-19(2)(e) (Rev. 2014), with a predicate felony of robbery,[1] and Count II, motor-vehicle theft pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-17-42(1) (Rev. 2014). The case proceeded to trial on both counts. However, at the close of the State's case, the State moved ore tenus to dismiss Count II of the indictment, and the court granted the motion. The jury found Keen guilty of the remaining count, and the circuit court imposed the statutory sentence of life in the custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections, without eligibility for parole or probation. Keen filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, which the circuit court denied.

[¶2] On appeal, Keen argues that (1) the amendment of the indictment broadened the basis for conviction and prejudiced his defense, and (2) the evidence was insufficient to find that Keen committed the predicate offense of robbery. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

[¶3] Keen owed his drug dealer, Willie Myers, $400. On the night of October 8, 2011, Keen told Myers that he planned to go to the Ross Barnett Reservoir (Reservoir) to steal a van and sell it for parts, and, in turn, pay back Myers for the drugs that Keen received on credit. Myers drove Keen out to the Reservoir and parked beside a white van, which belonged to the victim, Kerry Prisock. Prisock, a handyman, lived in his van and parked at the Reservoir at night. After a struggle, Keen killed Prisock using a hammer that he had found in the van. Keen admitted that he drove the van, which contained Prisock's body, and abandoned it on a dirt road off of the I-55 South Frontage Road in Jackson, Mississippi. Myers testified that he followed the van in his car and that he saw blood on Keen's face and clothing after Keen abandoned the van and began to walk toward Myers's car. Myers took Keen to a motel where they got a room so Keen could change clothes and clean up. According to Myers, Keen changed into clothes that Keen took out of Prisock's van. Incidentally, at this point, Keen was also able to pay Myers the amount that Keen owed for drugs. At trial, it was shown that Prisock had just cashed some checks at his bank.

[¶4] After Keen cleaned up, he asked Myers to take him to New Orleans, Louisiana,

Page 1041

and offered to pay Myers $100. Along the way, they made a stop to purchase drugs, for which Keen was able to pay cash. However, once they reached New Orleans, they turned around and drove back to Jackson. Keen asked Myers to drop him off at a friend's home. A few days later, as Myers was driving down a street in Jackson, ...


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