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Knight v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 27, 2015

CHRISTI JANE KNIGHT A/K/A CHRISTI J. KNIGHT A/K/A CHRISTI KNIGHT, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: TISHOMINGO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/30/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES LAMAR ROBERTS JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER AND SENTENCED TO TWENTY YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, AND TO PAY A $1,000 FINE, $100 TO THE CRIME VICTIMS' COMPENSATION FUND, AND $2,352.75 IN RESTITUTION.

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

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

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

OPINION

Page 840

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

JAMES, J.

¶1. Christi Jane Knight was charged with one count of deliberate-design murder, in the Circuit Court of Tishomingo County. However, after a jury trial, Knight was convicted of manslaughter. She was then sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Knight filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), or in the alternative, a new trial. The trial court denied Knight's motion. On appeal, Knight raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court

Page 841

erred when it denied Knight's motion for a JNOV and (2) whether the trial court erred when it denied Knight's motion for a new trial.

FACTS

¶2. Tishomingo County 911 dispatcher Odie Mack Vandiver testified that he received a 911 call on July 12, 2012. Shad Reed identified himself and reported an accidental shooting. Reed offered no other information. Vandiver dispatched the Tishomingo Fire Department, the Paden Fire Department, and an air-evacuation team.

¶3. On that same day, Charles Crosby was riding his four-wheeler and encountered Jeffery Powell, who was riding a dirt bike at approximately 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Powell did not have a headlight on his bike and night was beginning to fall. Crosby offered to follow Powell home because Crosby had headlights on his four-wheeler. Crosby followed Powell home, which was located at 5-A Hill Road.

¶4. While Powell was there, he saw a man, Shad Reed, Christi Knight's fiancé, holding a shotgun to a man's head, who was later identified as the victim, Doug Long. Crosby did not know why Reed was holding a shotgun to Long's head; however, when Reed saw Crosby, he told him to leave. At trial, Crosby described Reed as intoxicated, and he saw the defendant, Christi Knight, yell and curse at Long. Crosby followed Reed's directive and left the property. After Crosby left, he went ...


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