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Lewis v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 4, 2017

DAMION LEQEUINN LEWIS A/K/A DAMION LEWIS A/K/A DAMIEN LEWIS A/K/A DAMION L. LEWIS A/K/A DAMION LEQEUNN LEWIS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/11/2015

         COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS JR., TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF GEORGE T. HOLMES

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN JASON DAVIS

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., ISHEE AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          GRIFFIS, P.J.

         ¶1. Damion Leqeuinn Lewis was convicted of felony aggravated domestic violence in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-7(4) (Supp. 2013). Damion was sentenced to twenty years, with thirteen years suspended and seven years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The circuit court denied the posttrial motion for a new trial or, in the alternative, a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV). On appeal, we find no error and affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Damion and Rosa Victor Lewis were married but separated. On June 15, 2014, Rosa traveled to Damion's home in Gulfport from her home in Bogalusa, Louisiana, in an attempt to reconcile the marriage.

         ¶3. They planned to celebrate their anniversary and Father's Day with a visit to a casino and a comedy show. The show was to begin at 8 p.m. Rosa told Damion that she was running late and would not arrive at his home until after the show began. Damion and Rosa arrived just as the show ended. They met up with friends and went into a nightclub at the casino. They both consumed several alcoholic beverages, but neither admitted to being intoxicated.

         ¶4. Damion and Rosa had a disagreement while leaving the nightclub. They argued during the ride back to Damion's home. The argument escalated into a physical altercation in Damion's bedroom. From the physical encounter, Rosa received injuries to her ear, face, and neck.

         ¶5. Rosa drove herself to Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport. Nurse Ellen Emile was the first to encounter Rosa when she arrived. Emile testified that she was working at the triage station when Rosa came into the emergency room. She stated that Rosa was crying uncontrollably and was unable to explain what happened. Emile further testified that Rosa presented with red marks on the sides of her face, ear, and neck, and redness in each of her eyes. After she calmed down, Rosa informed the nurse that Damion struck her in the face, punched her on the ear, and pushed her onto a bed, where he strangled Rosa.

         ¶6. Rosa was examined and treated by Dr. Ronnie Ali, the emergency-room physician on duty. Dr. Ali testified that Rosa's injuries were consistent with being hit on the ear with a fist. He observed blood in Rosa's ear and diagnosed her with a ruptured eardrum, which he believed resulted from an impact. Dr. Ali also testified that Rosa had marks around her neck that were consistent with strangulation. It was Dr. Ali's opinion that the redness in Rosa's eyes was "petechia" caused by strangulation. He stated that the petechia was caused by "an extreme amount of force" to Rosa's neck, which caused the "tiny little blood vessels . . . [to] explode and form a small bleed ...


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