OF JUDGMENT: 02/17/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. DAVID H. STRONG JR., TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: M.A. BASS JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, JOSEPH
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DEE BATES
LEE, C.J., ISHEE AND FAIR, JJ.
A jury in the Lincoln County Circuit Court convicted Fred
Hill of first-degree murder, shooting into a dwelling, and
felon in possession of a firearm. Hill was sentenced to life
imprisonment for the murder conviction, and five years each
for the other two convictions. All three sentences were
ordered to be served consecutively in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections, and Hill was ordered
to pay an $8, 000 fine and $6, 000 restitution to the Crime
Victims' Compensation Fund. Hill's posttrial motions
were denied, and he now appeals, asserting the following
issues: (1) the evidence was legally insufficient; (2) the
jury verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the
evidence; and (3) the trial court erred in denying his two
motions to suppress.
On April 1, 2015, around 11:30 p.m., Hill drove up to Ezzard
and Gwendolyn Campbell's trailer located on Spur Road in
Lincoln County. According to both Ezzard and Gwendolyn, a car
horn woke them up and, upon looking outside, they saw Hill
standing beside the car holding a rifle. Both Ezzard and
Gwendolyn testified that Hill asked where Timothy Green was,
then said, "I'm going to kill him." Green is
Ezzard's son and Gwendolyn's stepson. Hill then got
back in the car and drove home, which was approximately 400
yards from the Campbells' home. Ezzard testified that he
followed Hill home to determine why Hill was angry with
Green. Ezzard said Hill told him that Green was trying to
steal Hill's girlfriend, Keirra Magee. Ezzard then
returned home. Ezzard heard Hill return sometime later. Both
Ezzard and Gwendolyn saw Hill run between their trailer and
their daughter's trailer next door. They then heard two
gunshots and saw Hill run back to his car carrying a rifle.
Green's body was discovered in the area between the
Campbells' trailer and their daughter's trailer.
Green had two bullet wounds; one entered the upper-left chest
area, and the other entered the back of his left shoulder.
Dr. Lisa Fuente, from the state medical examiner's
office, performed an autopsy on Green and noted that either
bullet wound could have resulted in Green's death.
One of the Campbells' neighbors, Jessica Matlock, had
also seen Hill at the Campbells' trailer that night.
Matlock, watching from a window in her trailer, saw Hill
drive up and exit the car. She saw him carrying a gun and a
flashlight. Hill then walked toward the Campbells'
trailer. Matlock testified that she heard two gunshots, then
saw Hill running back toward the car.
Several members of the Lincoln County Sheriff's
Department responded to the scene, including Deputy Patrick
Hardy, Chief Deputy Johnny Hall, Investigator Damian Gatlin,
and Investigator Byron Catchings. Two .223-caliber shell
casings were recovered from the area near Green's body,
and a .223-caliber bullet was recovered from a bullet hole in
the side of the Campbells' trailer. After Hill became a
suspect and his house was searched, the police found several
.223-caliber shell casings in his house and in the yard.
However, lab tests could not determine if all of ...