OF JUDGMENT: 03/21/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. DAVID H. STRONG JR., TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
HUNTER NOLAN AIKENS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DEE BATES
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
After a two-day trial, Dezjon Daniels was convicted of sexual
battery in the Circuit Court of Pike County. Daniels was
sentenced to thirty-five years in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with
twenty-five years to serve, ten years suspended, and five
years of postrelease supervision (PRS). Daniels was also
ordered to pay $5000 in restitution to the Crime Victims'
Compensation Fund. After the verdict, the trial court denied
Daniels's motion for a judgment notwithstanding the
verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative, a new trial. On direct
appeal, Daniels raises three issues. After review of the
record, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On or about July 23, 2014, Pamela Ard reported an incident of
sexual battery to Detective Todd Dillon, an investigator with
the Pike County Sheriff's Department. Ard reported her
son, H.A.,  had been sexually molested or raped by
Daniels or "Nookie."Daniels and H.A. are cousins, and
Ard regularly took her children, H.A. and P.A., to stay with
Daniels and his mother, Linda Stalling. At the time of this
incident, H.A. was either nine or ten years old, and Daniels
was at least twenty-four months older than H.A. Daniels was
nineteen years old.
H.A. was interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center by
forensic interviewer Jade Douglas. H.A. informed Douglas that
Daniels's "front went inside of his back." H.A.
and Daniels were left alone one day while Stalling, P.A., and
other cousins went to the store. H.A. asked Daniels if he
could play the video game that Daniels was playing. H.A.
stated Daniels told him that in order to play the game, H.A.
had to give him "some booty" or have sex. H.A.
stated he went into the bathroom, pulled down his pants, put
his hands on the toilet, then Daniels "put his thing in
his thing." It was during the interview that Douglas
learned H.A. was referring to Daniels's penis entering
At trial, Ard testified she frequently dropped off her
children at Stalling's house, because Stalling babysat.
Ard stated H.A. had been trying to tell her something, but
she kept ignoring him. Finally, H.A. told her of the abuse
that occurred at Stalling's house. Ard testified she
called Stalling and threatened to tell police if Stalling and
Daniels did not meet her at her house to discuss the incident
in person. Upon arrival, Ard confronted Daniels. Ard further
testified she asked Daniels if he had sex with H.A., and
Daniels replied, "If he said I did it, then I did
it." Ard notified police shortly after the exchange with
Stalling and Daniels.
Detective Dillon, Douglas, P.A., and H.A. testified at trial
for the State. Daniels testified at trial and vehemently
denied abusing H.A. Following a two-day trial, Daniels was
found guilty of sexual battery and later sentenced to
thirty-five years in the custody of the MDOC, with ten years
suspended and five years of PRS. Daniels filed a motion for a
JNOV or, in the alternative, a new trial. After a hearing,
the trial court denied Daniels's motion. Daniels now
Whether the trial court erred in admitting certain
This Court has previously held that "the admission of
expert testimony is governed by Rule 702 of the Mississippi
Rules of Evidence and caselaw, specifically
Mississippi Transportation Commission v.
McLemore, 863 So.2d 31 (Miss. 2003)." Carter v.
State, 996 So.2d 112, 116 (¶13) (Miss. Ct. App.
2008). Rule 702 states:
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will
assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to
determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert
by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may
testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if
(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2)
the testimony is the product of reliable principles and