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Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 27, 2015

ETHAN M. SMITH A/K/A ETHAN MICAH SMITH, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

Page 543

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/13/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LISA P. DODSON. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF MURDER AND SENTENCED TO LIFE IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.

AFFIRMED.

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

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BILLY L. GORE.

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

OPINION

Page 544

LEE, C.J.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶1 A jury in the Harrison County Circuit Court found Ethan M. Smith guilty of murder. The trial court sentenced Smith to life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Smith filed post-trial motions, which were denied by the trial court. Smith now appeals and asserts that (1) the trial court erred in refusing jury instructions D-1A and D-3, (2) the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict, and (3) the verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

FACTS

¶2 On or about March 28, 2011, Smith, Eric Midkiff, Kameron Dixon, Jacindo Vo, and Rikki Treloar[1] were inside a pop-out camper in the yard of Dixon's home. Smith, Midkiff, and Dixon had been drinking vodka, but according to witnesses, no one appeared intoxicated. Smith pulled out a gun and started playing with its safety features. Midkiff, Vo, and Treloar watched as Smith made a " bullet fall out the side." He gave the gun to Midkiff, who handled it for a time. There is conflicting testimony as to whether Midkiff played with the safety features of the gun. Treloar testified that there was at least one bullet in the gun. At no point did either of them point the gun at anybody. There was no horseplay. Midkiff handed the gun back to Smith, who put the gun on, near, or under the bed.

¶3 After Smith put the gun away, Smith, Midkiff, Vo, and Treloar lay down on the bed. Midkiff's left arm was draped over Vo, and they were facing Smith ...


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