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Lindsey v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

January 26, 2017

HOWARD LINDSEY
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/17/2015

         COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: COVINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. EDDIE H. BOWEN, JUDGE

         AFFIRMED

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: STEPHANIE BRELAND WOOD CHRIS HENNIS OTTOWA E. CARTER, JR. CATOUCHE J. BODY

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MERRIDA COXWELL

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: SCOTT STUART

          BEFORE WALLER, C.J., KITCHENS AND COLEMAN, JJ.

          WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE

         ¶1. On July 23, 2015, a Covington County jury found Howard Lindsey guilty of two counts of gratification of lust and two counts of sexual battery. On appeal, Lindsey argues that the jury's verdict is contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence. Finding no issue with the verdict, we affirm Lindsey's convictions and sentences.

         FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. This case involves a total of four alleged sexual offenses committed by Howard Lindsey against two minor female victims. On January 13, 2015, Lindsey was indicted for one count of gratification of lust and one count of sexual battery against his granddaughter M.L, as well as one count of gratification of lust and one count of sexual battery against M.L.'s cousin T.P.[1] The alleged offenses against M.L. occurred "during and about 2013 through and about 2014, " and the alleged offenses against T.P. occurred "during and about December 2013." At the time of these offenses, M.L. was between eleven and twelve years old, and T.P. was fourteen years old.

         ¶3. Lindsey's trial commenced on July 22, 2015. M.L. and T.P. were the State's only witnesses. By the time of trial, M.L. was thirteen years old, and T.P. was fifteen years old. Lindsey called three witnesses in his defense: M.L.'s older brother Antiquez Lindsey, M.L.'s uncle Sedrick Lindsey, and M.L.'s cousin Sedrianna Lindsey. At the conclusion of trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Lindsey guilty on all counts. After the trial court denied his post-trial motions, Lindsey filed a timely notice of appeal with this Court. Lindsey's sole issue on appeal is whether the jury's verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. "When reviewing a denial of a motion for a new trial based on an objection to the weight of the evidence, we will only disturb a verdict when it is so contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence that to allow it to stand would sanction an unconscionable injustice." Bush v. State, 895 So.2d 836, 844 (Miss. 2005) (citation omitted). The evidence must be weighed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict. Id. If the verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, the proper remedy is to grant a new trial, but this remedy should be used only in ...


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