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Eldridge v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 13, 2017

EDWARD PARKER ELDRIDGE A/K/A EDWARD P. ELDRIDGE A/K/A EDWARD ELDRIDGE, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/21/2016

         HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS JR. TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF

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

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH

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

          WESTBROOKS, J.

         ¶1. Edward Parker Eldridge was convicted of burglary of a dwelling in the Circuit Court of Harrison County. He was sentenced to twenty years, with twelve years suspended, leaving eight years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, followed by four years of postrelease supervision. After sentencing, Eldridge filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative, a new trial, which was denied. Eldridge timely appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In 2014, Charles Flowers resided in a small beach cottage located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Flowers left the cottage for work on June 10, 2014, and did not return home until the following day.

         ¶3. On June 11, 2014, Flowers arrived home and noticed the doors of his home ajar. Flowers testified that when he tried to gain access to the house, he was unable to enter through the doors. From a window, Flowers testified he saw blankets and guitar cables tied together between pieces of furniture. When Flowers finally gained access to his home, he found half of a sandwich and a half-melted bowl of ice cream. A laundry basket containing a number of Flowers's personal items and valuables was found by the front door. There was also broken glass on the floor, and clothes thrown everywhere in the house.

         ¶4. Steven Kelly, an investigator with the Biloxi Police Department, testified he went to Flowers's home to investigate after he received a call about a burglary. He testified that when he arrived, he noticed shards of glass by Flowers's french doors, and that it appeared the house had been rummaged through. He testified he noticed a half-eaten sandwich and bowl of ice cream on the table. Moreover, he testified he noticed electronic or musical-type equipment in a laundry basket close to a door in Flowers's home. Investigator Kelly also stated he did not take photos of the home during that time, because he had just started working for the police department and had not been issued a camera.

         ¶5. Flowers testified that he did not stay at his house that night, because he was afraid. Flowers returned to his house a few days later to retrieve the rest of his items. He testified he found a casino player's card with the name "Edward Parker Eldridge" on it, a dirty razor, and dirty clothes on the floor in his bathroom. Flowers also testified it appeared as if someone had tried to break in the home again. Flowers later took the items found in his house to the Biloxi Police Department.

         ¶6. After Flowers revealed the casino player's card with Eldridge's name, an investigator showed him a picture of a man named Edward Parker Eldridge. Coincidently, on June 11, 2014, Eldridge was questioned by Officer Kevin Kinny of Biloxi Police Department on another matter. Officer Kinny stopped to visit with Eldridge and took Eldridge's picture on June 11, 2014. Flowers testified that he recognized the shirt worn by Eldridge in the picture, despite the shirt being worn inside out. The shirt had the name "Home Cypress Farms" embroidered on it. Home Cypress Farms was the name of ...


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