WILLIAM L. WALLER, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE.
the justices of this Court are of the opinion that the
judgment of the Court of Appeals should be affirmed, and four
are of the opinion that it should be reversed; consequently,
that judgment must be, and is, affirmed.
as the judgment of the Court of Appeals has not been decided
to be erroneous by a majority of the justices sitting in this
case, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed
without opinion. The costs on appeal are assessed to
AFFIRM: WALLER, C.J., DICKINSON AND RANDOLPH, P.JJ., LAMAR
AND BEAM, JJ.
PARTICIPATING: MAXWELL, J.
JUSTICE, OBJECTING TO THE ORDER WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN
William Michael Jordan was convicted of murder and felon in
possession in a case devoid of physical evidence. At trial,
an inflammatory rap video with a tenuous connection to this
case, and which included only very minor participation by
Jordan, was introduced into evidence. Its authentication was
based on testimony much of which was untrue. It was error to
allow the rap video into evidence. Because I believe that the
decisions of the trial court and Court of Appeals are
incorrect and violate Jordan's rights, I respectfully
object to the order affirming his conviction.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Late in February 2012, Aaron Coleman's mother reported
Coleman's car was soon found outside of Meridian. . . .
[S]everal more days passed before Coleman's body was
discovered in the woods near Interstate 20.
Coleman was last seen alive on February 27[, 2012, ] at
Jordan's house. When questioned, Jordan confirmed [that]
Coleman had stopped by that day. . . . Jordan told the
Meridian Police that Coleman had only stayed a few minutes.
After that, Jordan [asserted that he] never saw him again.
Charlie Henderson and Bobby Baker - longtime friends of both
Coleman and Jordan- had also been at Jordan's house that
evening. And they gave similar stories to the police.
The police [received an anonymous tip that] they should also
question JaMichael Smith because he had been at
Jordan's house that night[, ] too. But Smith [had]
quickly left Meridian late [the] night [of February 27, 2013,
] on a Greyhound bus headed for Michigan. A year later, Smith
was extradited from Michigan to Mississippi, where he finally
told the police his version of what happened.
While Smith had grown up in Meridian, he moved to Michigan
when he was seventeen. . . . [He did not return to
Mississippi for five years.] But he returned to Meridian in
February 2012 for his grandfather's funeral. He ended up
at Jordan's house on February 27, drinking and smoking
marijuana. According to Smith, everyone seemed to be having a
good time when Jordan went to his bedroom and retrieved a
shotgun. Jordan returned to the living room, where both
Henderson and Coleman were. Jordan . . . [flashed and cocked
the gun.] Smith got nervous, so he went into the kitchen.
Smith heard the gun go off. He saw Coleman [grab his stomach
and lean] over in the corner of the living room. Smith ran
out [of] the back door of Jordan's house and took the
first bus out of town.
Once Smith was in custody in Mississippi, Baker came
forward[, ] too. He admitted [that] he had initially lied to
investigators when he denied knowing what happened to
Coleman. The truth, according to Baker, was that he[, ] too[,
] was in Jordan's living room, drinking and smoking
marijuana, when Jordan shot Coleman.
Coleman claimed he had received a phone call from his mother,
saying it was time to come home. Henderson started teasing
Coleman about having a curfew. This is when Jordan retrieved
the shotgun. Like Smith, Baker was worried about the gun, so
he kept his eyes on Jordan. He saw the gun go off, Henderson
lunge, and Coleman - who was standing right behind Henderson
- get shot in the stomach.
Coleman fell over, but he was still breathing. Baker wanted
to call for an ambulance[, ] [b]ut Jordan pointed the gun at
him and told him to stop. Baker tried to reason with Jordan,
saying everyone would see it was an accident and that Jordan
did not know the gun was loaded. So with Coleman still alive,
Baker started to call 911. . . . Henderson told him to hang
up. Baker saw Smith run out the back door.
About ten minutes went by. Coleman was still alive, and
Jordan and Henderson were trying to figure out what to do.
They finally told Baker to help them load Coleman into the
back of Jordan's Honda. Baker got into the backseat with
Coleman. Jordan and Henderson stayed outside the car, further
devising a plan. Another five minutes passed. . . . Coleman
suddenly stopped breathing and his whole body stopped moving.
Henderson opened the door and saw that Coleman had died.
At this point, Jordan's live-in girlfriend pulled up in
her car. Henderson quickly shut the car door to conceal
Coleman's body. Jordan followed his girlfriend into his
house for a few minutes, while Henderson rifled through
Coleman's pockets and found his keys. Baker testified
that Henderson then pulled out a pair of gloves. When Jordan
exited his house again, Jordan got into the driver's seat
of his car. Henderson, gloves on, then took Coleman's
keys and got into Coleman's car. The two cars started
driving around Meridian. . . . Jordan and Henderson were on
their cell phones [the entire time] trying to figure out what
to do. Jordan eventually turned onto I-20[, ] but ran out of
gas. He [pulled] over to the shoulder and waited for
Henderson to bring him more fuel.
When Henderson pulled up behind them with a gas can fifteen
minutes later, he was surprised [that] Coleman's body was
still in the backseat. Baker and Jordan then lifted the body
out of the car and rolled it down an embankment, where it was
found days later. The two cars then drove off down the
interstate. They took a nearby exit, where they dumped
The three then drove to Henderson's house in Jordan's
car. There, a fourth man came out with a metal barrel and
started a fire. Baker testified [that] he, Jordan, and
Henderson threw their clothes into the fire, along with
Coleman's cell phone and wallet.
Jordan was indicted for second-degree murder. See
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-19(1)(b) (Rev. 2014). He was also
charged with felon in possession of a firearm. See