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Randle v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 21, 2017

THEOTIS RANDLE A/K/A THEODIS RANDLE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/09/2015

         CLAY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LEE SORRELS COLEMAN COURT, TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MARK ANDREW CLIETT

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ADONNA C. HOLLAND

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: FORREST ALLGOOD

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.

          BARNES, J.

         ¶1. Theotis Randle was convicted of sexual battery by a Clay County Circuit Court jury and sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with five years suspended on postrelease supervision. He appeals his conviction, claiming the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict and that errors during the trial warrant a reversal of his conviction. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On March 9, 2010, twenty-year-old "Carol"[1] was alone at her parents' home after taking her father to the doctor. Her father had left the house to go to the pharmacy with another family member. When the doorbell rang a few minutes later, Carol assumed her father had returned to retrieve his bag of prescription medications he had left behind; so she unlocked the door, turned the handle, and began to walk away with her back to the door. She then felt someone "bear hug" her from behind, and she was forced to the couch in the living room. When she managed to turn her head, she saw Randle, a handyman who occasionally worked for her grandmother. Randle pinned Carol down, shoved his elbow into her back, and used his other hand to pull down her pants and underwear. Carol initially struggled and attempted to reach for a phone, but froze in shock when Randle began to rape her. When he finished a few minutes later, he zipped his pants, told her he would "see [her] later, " and left the home.

         ¶3. Carol called her cousin, a registered nurse, who advised her to contact law enforcement and have a rape kit administered. Her grandmother and aunt arrived shortly thereafter, and Carol was taken to the sheriff's department, where she gave a statement to Deputy Ramirez Williams. She was then taken to the hospital to have a rape kit administered. Randle gave a statement to Deputy Williams the following day, denying that he had sex with Carol. A buccal swab (DNA) was taken from Randle and sent to a laboratory. This sample from Randle matched the vaginal sample taken from Carol.

         ¶4. Randle was charged with sexual battery. At trial, Carol said she had known Randle for a few years, and he had made uncomfortable, inappropriate sexual comments toward her prior to the incident. She also recounted one incident where he "rubbed up against [her]" when she walked by him in a hallway while he was painting. She told him to not touch her, and he "backed off." Carol told her father about Randle's ongoing behavior approximately two to three months before the rape, and her father told Randle to leave the girl alone. ¶5. Randle amended his version of the event at trial, now claiming that the two had consensual sex on the day in question. He said he offered Carol $50, but he never paid her. Randle explained he initially lied to law enforcement because he was scared.

         ¶6. The jury convicted Randle of sexual battery, and he was sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of the MDOC, with five years suspended on postrelease supervision. He filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial. The trial court denied the motion, and Randle now appeals. Finding no merit to the issues raised by Randle, we affirm the judgment.

         DISCUSSION

         I.Whether there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict andwhether the verdict was against the overwhelming ...


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