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Graham v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 18, 2014

JOSHUA DANIEL GRAHAM A/K/A JOSHUA D. GRAHAM A/K/A JOSHUA GRAHAM, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/28/2013.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT P. CHAMBERLIN. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT UPON A POLICE OFFICER, AND SENTENCED TO EIGHTEEN YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, FOLLOWED BY TWELVE YEARS OF POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION, AND TO PAY A $1,000 FINE AND $100 TO THE CRIME VICTIMS' COMPENSATION FUND.

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

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: MELANIE DOTSON THOMAS .

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

OPINION

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

IRVING, P.J.

¶1. A DeSoto County jury found Joshua Graham guilty of aggravated assault upon a police officer in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-7 (Rev. 2014). Graham filed a motion for a judgment

Page 269

notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, which the circuit court denied.[1] Graham appeals, challenging the weight of the evidence presented against him during trial.

¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶3. During the early morning of February 27, 2012, Officer Mitzi Stewart, a police officer with the Southaven Police Department, spotted a blue Ford Crown Victoria, with no tag, driving slowly through the parking lot of a convenience store located near Church Road in Southaven, Mississippi. The store was closed at the time. After the car came to a stop, Officer Stewart parked her patrol car behind the car and radioed to dispatch. As Officer Stewart did this, Graham exited the car and walked towards Officer Stewart's patrol car. The driver-side door of Graham's car remained open. Officer Stewart exited her patrol car and initiated dialogue with Graham, who informed her that he was searching for an air machine in order to put air in his front driver-side tire. Upon inspection, Officer Stewart determined that the tire was not low. Graham stated that he was a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, and that he was in the area visiting his girlfriend, who was a student at a local college. Upon inquiry by Officer Stewart, Graham was unable to provide his girlfriend's name, the name of the college she attended, or her major. Graham also told Officer Stewart that the car Graham was driving belonged to Graham's girlfriend. When asked to provide identification, Graham stated that his girlfriend had his license in her bag.

¶4. Officer Stewart asked Graham if she could search him for weapons, and Graham stated that she could. She conducted a pat-down of Graham's person as he stood toward the rear of his car. Officer Stewart felt a small baggy in Graham's pants pocket. She asked Graham to empty his pockets, and he complied, revealing what appeared to Officer Stewart to be marijuana and giving Officer Stewart probable cause to arrest him. As she reached ...


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