KEVIN BOSTON a/k/a KEVIN E. BOSTON a/k/a KEVIN EARL BOSTON
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 07/24/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. W. ASHLEY HINES TRIAL JUDGE
COURT ATTORNEYS: TAKIYAH HERMIONE PERKINS WILLIE DEWAYNE
RICHARDSON BRANDON ISAAC DORSEY
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: BRANDON ISAAC DORSEY
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE
WALLER, C.J., KING AND MAXWELL, JJ.
WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Kevin Boston was convicted of capital murder in the
Washington County Circuit Court for the killing of Willie
Dean. Boston raises five issues on appeal, one of which is
raised by Boston himself in a pro se supplemental
brief. In that supplemental brief, Boston argues that the
trial court erred by granting the State's
"pre-arming instruction." Finding that the granting
of the pre-arming instruction was reversible error, we
reverse Boston's conviction and sentence and remand the
case for a new trial.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On May 13, 2014, Barbara Boston called her estranged husband,
Kevin Boston, the defendant, to come fix the flat tire on her
car parked at her place of employment, Trigg Elementary.
Because the school was administering state testing, Barbara
could not go outside to meet Boston, so she left the keys
inside the car. When Boston arrived at Trigg Elementary, he
was unable to fix the tire because the jack was bent. While
walking to the main school office to inform Barbara he could
not change her tire, Boston met the victim, Willie Dean.
Dean was a contract maintenance worker who reported for a
work order at Trigg Elementary on the day in question.
Additionally relevant, Dean and Barbara had a romantic
relationship while Barbara was separated from Boston.
However, Dean and Barbara previously had ended their
How the contact between Boston and Dean initiated and what
happened during their confrontation are points of sharp
dispute in the record. Boston contends he acted in
self-defense; whereas, the State claims Boston attacked Dean.
State's witness Abbie Allen, a bus driver for Greenville
Public Schools, testified that Boston approached Dean
first. However, Boston claimed Dean first
approached him. Boston testified that Dean was upset because
he was in Barbara's car, possibly indicating to Dean that
Boston and Barbara might have reconciled. Boston further
testified that Dean yelled he was going to kill Boston and
then attacked him with a pair of pliers, hitting Boston on
his wrist. The State attempted to discredit Boston's
testimony by offering into evidence a picture of Boston's
wrist taken after his arrest, which showed no visible
injuries. Moreover, no pliers ever were recovered from the
Boston continued his testimony, explaining that after he
pushed Dean off, Dean came running back toward him, at which
point he fatally stabbed Dean once with a pocket knife.
Boston testified he had purchased the pocket knife from Auto
Zone a month before the incident. While the State did not
present any direct evidence of what had caused the
altercation between the parties, Abbie Allen testified that
she saw Boston and Dean talking, and then they "got a
little loud." No one saw the stabbing, though. After
Dean was stabbed, the parties walked away from each other.
The immediate aftermath of the stabbing was caught on the
school's surveillance camera, but the footage does not
show any physical or verbal altercation between the parties.
After the incident, Rita Mobley, another employee of Trigg
Elementary, testified that she found Dean standing in a
doorway at the school, holding his chest and asking for
someone to take him to the hospital. According to Mobley,
Dean said, "[Kevin Boston] stabbed me for no
reason." An ambulance took Dean to the hospital, where
On March 11, 2015, a grand jury indicted Boston in the
Circuit Court of Washington County for capital murder on
educational property grounds. See Miss. Code Ann.
§ 97-3-19(2)(g) (Supp. 2016) ("The killing of a
human being without the authority of law by any means or in
any manner shall be capital murder in the following cases: .
. . Murder which is perpetrated on educational property as
defined in Section 97-37-17[.]"). The case was tried on
July 21-24, 2015, at the close of which the jury found Boston
guilty. In Boston's appeal, his attorney raised issues
concerning the weight and sufficiency of the evidence, as
well as the denial of a proposed self-defense jury
instruction. Boston in his pro se supplemental
brief asserted his objection to the ...