OF JUDGMENT: 04/09/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LEE SORRELS COLEMAN COURT, TRIAL
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MARK ANDREW CLIETT
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ADONNA
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: FORREST ALLGOOD
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.
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.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On March 9, 2010, twenty-year-old
"Carol" 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.
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.
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.
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.
I.Whether there was sufficient evidence to support the
verdict andwhether the verdict was against
the overwhelming ...