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Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 27, 2015

KENDRICK D. SMITH A/K/A KENDRICK DEWAYNE SMITH A/K/A KENDRICK SMITH, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: ADAMS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/25/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. FORREST A. JOHNSON JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF ARMED ROBBERY, AND SENTENCED TO FORTY YEARS, AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT UPON A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, AND SENTENCED TO THIRTY YEARS, WITH THE SENTENCES TO RUN CONSECUTIVELY, BOTH 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: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER.

BEFORE LEE, C.J., ISHEE AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. BARNES, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 1183

FAIR, J.

¶1. An Adams County jury found Kendrick D. Smith guilty of armed robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement

Page 1184

officer. Smith was sentenced to forty years for armed robbery and thirty years for aggravated assault, to be served consecutively while in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Smith moved for a mistrial twice during the trial. His motions were denied. Smith's motion for a new trial was also denied. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. On June 24, 2011, an employee of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Natchez, Mississippi, noticed a man crouched in the bushes outside the restaurant. The man, masked by a bandana, gestured to the employee to keep quiet. The employee returned inside the KFC and told his manager that the man was likely to rob a customer through the drive-through line. The manager sought help from three sheriff's deputies -- Major Billy Neely, Charles Hargill, and Buddy Frank -- who were eating lunch in the restaurant.

¶3. Around that time, a robbery took place at United Mississippi Bank (the Bank), next to the KFC. When the deputies went outside to confront the man in the bushes, they saw him running away from the Bank. Major Neely identified the suspect as a black male wearing a bandana, cap, and t-shirt. The suspect fired three shots in the direction of the officers, wounding Deputy Frank in his right leg. Deputy Frank fired back, hitting the suspect in the shoulder. After he was shot, the suspect threw money into the air and ran towards Natchez Ford Dealership, leaving behind a trail of money. Major Neely lost sight of the suspect. The police later arrested Smith, who was found near the crime scene behind Plantation Manor Apartments. Smith was missing a t-shirt and hat, but otherwise matched the description of the suspect. Smith also had a gunshot wound in the same area as the suspect.

¶4. Smith was charged in a five-count indictment with armed robbery of the Bank and aggravated assault against each of the sheriff's deputies and an employee of the Ford dealership. At his first trial, Smith was found not guilty on three counts of aggravated assault. But the jury deadlocked on the armed robbery and aggravated assault against Deputy Frank. Smith was tried a second time on those remaining charges.

¶5. Three tellers working at the Bank during the robbery testified at Smith's second trial. They all described the robber as a black male wearing a baseball cap and t-shirt, with a bandana over his face. One teller testified that the robber wore yellow gloves and fired ...


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