Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Henderson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 23, 2015

WILLIAM HENDERSON A/K/A WILLIAM E. HENDERSON A/K/A WILLIAM EARL HENDERSON, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/09/2013.

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: YAZOO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JANNIE M. LEWIS. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF STATUTORY RAPE AND SENTENCED AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER TO THIRTY YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF PAROLE OR SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE.

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

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

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

          OPINION

Page 1039

         FAIR, J.

         [¶1] William Henderson was convicted of the statutory rape of his thirteen-year-old cousin, Abby.[1] She testified that Henderson had repeatedly displayed a pistol to intimidate her into having sex with him.[2] After their final encounter was interrupted, Henderson literally jumped out the window of the victim's bedroom, leaving behind some of his clothes and a condom wrapper bearing his fingerprint. On appeal, he raises four varied issues. We find no merit to any of them, and so we affirm Henderson's conviction and sentence.

         DISCUSSION

         1. Admission of the Letter

         [¶2] The trial court admitted into evidence a handwritten letter given by

Page 1040

Henderson to a jailmate to be delivered to a friend Henderson had visited the day of his final sexual encounter with Abby. In the letter, Henderson asked the friend to testify in his defense and corroborate his account that he had left the friend's residence with a girlfriend. It closed by asking the friend not to say anything about a gun. The letter was delivered, but the friend's mother found it; and it ultimately made its way to the authorities. It was offered into evidence by the prosecution and was admitted into evidence over Henderson's objection. The friend testified at trial and contradicted the narrative of the letter in material respects.

         [¶3] A trial court's decision to admit or exclude evidence is reviewed for abuse of discretion. Gillett v. State, 56 So.3d 469, 494 (¶ 61) (Miss. 2010).

         [¶4] The cellmate testified that Henderson gave him a letter and that he delivered it to the friend. The friend testified that the letter was the one delivered to him by the cellmate on Henderson's behalf. Henderson contends that the letter was not properly authenticated because the handwriting was never confirmed to be his. Henderson's position is, it seems, that Mississippi Rule of Evidence 901(b)(2) is the only way a handwritten note could have been authenticated. Rule 901(b)(2) does permit authentication of a handwriting by nonexpert opinion testimony. But Rule ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.