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Titus v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 14, 2017

MARVIN TITUS A/K/A M.T. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/05/2015

         WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. MARGARET CAREY-MCCRAY TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: BENJAMIN ALLEN SUBER.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER.

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: WILLIE DEWAYNE RICHARDSON.

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. A jury found Marvin Titus guilty of deliberate-design murder and the display of a firearm during the commission of the murder. See Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-19(1)(a) (Rev. 2014); Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-37(1) (Rev. 2014). On appeal from his conviction and sentences, Titus argues that the circuit court erroneously denied his motion for a new trial because the verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. At 1:09 a.m. on January 18, 2013, Raymond Vicks placed a 911 call to the Greenville Police Department to report a shooting. Vicks testified that he was at home asleep when someone knocked on his door. Although Vicks was initially reluctant to open the door, he testified that the person knocked again and called out his name. Vicks further stated that the person identified himself as Chris Walls, a friend who lived seven or eight houses down from Vicks's home. Vicks opened the door and then caught Walls as Walls fell to the ground. Vicks testified that Walls stated, "[T]hey shot me, they shot me . . . ."

         ¶3. According to Vicks, Walls had blood shooting out of his arm from a bullet wound. After emergency personnel arrived and transported Walls to the hospital, Vicks cleaned up the blood on his front porch. He then went to the hospital to check on Walls's condition. On his way to the hospital, Vicks testified that he called Stanley Parnell and asked Parnell to inform Walls's mother of the shooting. When he arrived at the hospital, however, Vicks did not see Walls's mother. As a result, he left the hospital to inform her of the shooting.

         ¶4. Upon returning to the hospital, Vicks encountered Titus and Parnell. Vicks testified that, as he walked through the hospital door, Titus asked whether Walls had identified his shooter. At the time of the shooting, Titus was staying at Walls's house. Although Walls had previously kicked Titus out of his house, Vicks testified that Walls always allowed Titus to return. Vicks testified that Walls regularly sold drugs out of the house and that Walls once kicked Titus out of the house for selling bad drugs to someone. Vicks stated that people sometimes arrived to purchase drugs while Walls was away and that Titus, pretending to be Walls, would conduct the transaction but would sell the purchasers fake drugs.

         ¶5. Vicks further testified that he spent time at Walls's house the day before the shooting and visited with Walls, Titus, and Parnell. Vicks testified that he stayed until a little before 2:45 p.m., when his children got out of school. Vicks said that he observed nothing unusual between Titus and Walls while he was hanging out with them.

         ¶6. In response to Vicks's 911 call, law-enforcement officers arrived on the scene. Sergeant Maricus Hibbler testified that he arrived at Vicks's home and observed Walls lying on the front porch and wailing in pain. According to Sergeant Hibbler's testimony, Walls slipped in and out of consciousness and was unable to answer questions about who shot him. Sergeant Hibbler further stated that the porch where Walls had ...


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