COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/19/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JEFF WEILL SR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF MURDER AND SENTENCED TO LIFE IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.
FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES.
FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD, JOHN R. HENRY JR.
BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., ISHEE AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. WILSON, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.
[¶1] On April 15, 2011, Marc Lewis shot and killed his mother, Sharmeise Church. He was convicted of murder in the Hinds County Circuit Court following a jury trial that occurred in November 2013. He was sentenced to serve life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). On appeal, Lewis raises the following issues: (1) whether the circuit court erred in excluding lay-witness testimony regarding Lewis's mental health; (2) whether the circuit court denied Lewis the right to make a record for appellate review; and (3) whether the weight of the evidence supports a murder conviction. Finding no error, we affirm.
[¶2] In the early morning hours of April 15, 2011, between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m., Church died from a single gunshot wound to her abdomen. Lewis, his grandfather, Bobby Lewis, his sister, Aereal, and his baby, Maurianna, all lived in Church's home at the time of the incident. When authorities arrived at Church's home, Lewis was identified by his family as the shooter. Lewis was soon charged with murder, and a trial took place in the circuit court from November 12 through November 14, 2013.
[¶3] Bobby and Aereal both testified at trial and gave their accounts of what had happened on the morning in question. Bobby testified that he had been asleep in his bedroom when he heard a gunshot and ran into the hall. There, he found Church telling him to call 911 because " this boy" had shot her. Aereal called 911, and Bobby found Lewis under the carport. Bobby returned to find Church lying on the floor with her head in Aereal's lap. When Bobby asked Lewis what he had done, Lewis replied, " nothing Granddad." When Bobby
stated again that he thought Lewis had done something to Church, Lewis replied that she was " faking," and there was nothing wrong with her.
[¶4] Bobby testified that Lewis had a gun, and he was " out of it." Bobby stated that Lewis pointed the gun at Bobby's head, and Bobby pushed it away. Lewis placed the gun in his pocket. Then, while Bobby was pretending to be distracted by caring for Church, Bobby grabbed the gun out of Lewis's pocket.
[¶5] Aereal also testified at trial. Aereal stated that in the early morning hours of April 15, 2011, she was in her room when she heard her mother on the phone with police describing a situation with Lewis. Church hung up the phone, and then Aereal heard a gunshot followed immediately by Church yelling in the hall that " Marc shot [her]." Aereal opened her bedroom door and saw Church on the floor in the hallway holding her side. Aereal called 911.
[¶6] Aereal testified that Lewis had been drinking vodka with Aereal's boyfriend, Michael Boykins, in the late-night and early-morning hours leading up to the shooting. She stated that Lewis and Boykins drank together every day or at least every other day. Boykins left shortly before the shooting and came back after the ...