RICHARD WHITE A/K/A TONEY BUCK A/K/A RICHARD DELAINE WHITE APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/18/2013
QUITMAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ALBERT B. SMITH III TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: ERIN ELIZABETH PRIDGEN
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: JEFFREY A. KLINGFUSS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BRENDA FAY MITCHELL
¶1. A jury sitting before the Quitman County Circuit Court found Richard White guilty of burglary of a dwelling. The circuit court sentenced White to twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. White appeals and makes only one claim. He argues that the circuit court committed plain error when it did not sua sponte instruct the jury on the elements of larceny and/or assault – the underlying intended crimes that the indictment listed for the burglary charge. Finding no error, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2. For more than thirty-five years, Newell Inman and his wife, Johanna, lived at the same address in Lambert, Mississippi, a small town in Quitman County. On Sunday, January 29, 2012, Newell and Johanna drove to Okolona, Mississippi, to visit a sick relative in the hospital. It was dark when they arrived home a little after 7 p.m. Newell was driving, and Johanna was in the front passenger's seat.
¶3. As they approached their home, Newell and Johanna both noticed that a light was on in one of the two storage rooms connected to their carport. The doors to the storage rooms were shut and unlocked. Newell thought that Johanna had left the light on, and Johanna thought that Newell was responsible for the light. As Johanna was exiting the parked car, Newell asked her to turn off the light in the storage room, which was immediately to her right. Johanna opened the storage-room door just enough to reach the light switch inside. But the light was already off. Johanna turned the light back on.
¶4. Johanna was surprised by an intruder in her storage room. His hands were behind his back, as though he was hiding a weapon. According to Johanna, the intruder was standing in a "parade rest" or "at ease" military posture. Johanna screamed for Newell.
¶5. As sixty-five-year-old Newell rushed around the car to help Johanna, the intruder tried to escape. Newell swung at him – and missed. The significantly younger intruder pummeled Newell with something metallic, knocking Newell to his knees and shattering his glasses. Newell's head was severely lacerated, and his right arm was broken. The intruder fled around the carport and across the yard. Regaining his balance, Newell briefly tried to chase the intruder. Newell had to stop when blood from the lacerations on his head began to obscure his vision.
¶6. While driving to the emergency room, Johanna called 911. At that time, Johanna did not recognize the intruder. But Newell did from the many times he had seen him around town. However, Newell did not know the intruder's name.
¶7. The next day, the Inmans positively identified White as the intruder. They recognized him from a photograph that was presented by law enforcement. Johanna also showed law-enforcement officers the undisturbed metal file that she had found in the front yard. Newell inventoried the storage room and discovered that he was missing a hammer, a pair of Channellock pliers, at least two files, and some of his screwdrivers. Law-enforcement officers found a fingerprint on a box in the storage room where the intruder had been hiding. A fingerprint examiner from the Mississippi Crime Laboratory later testified that the ...