TIMOTHY SCOTT BEASLEY A/K/A TIMOTHY S. BEASLEY A/K/A TIMOTHY BEASLEY APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/05/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON.
CHRISTOPHER LOUIS SCHMIDT TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
BENJAMIN ALLEN SUBER
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH
Following his convictions for burglary of a dwelling,
aggravated stalking, and aggravated assault, Timothy Beasley
appeals the judgment of the Harrison County Circuit Court
denying his motion for a new trial, arguing that the
jury's verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the
evidence. In a separate pro se brief, Beasley alleges
ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
Finding no error, we affirm.
This appeal stems from an incident that occurred on May 9,
2015, in Gulfport, Mississippi. Lori Ehlers, Beasley's
girlfriend of ten to fifteen years, had an order of
protection against him that included her home, her person,
and both of her parents. While at dinner that night,
Lori's mom, Elaine Ehlers, received text messages and a
voice mail from Beasley stating that he was headed to
Lori's home to "put down" a cat that the two
had owned together. After receiving those messages, Lori,
Elaine, and Vernon Ehlers, Lori's father, returned to
Lori's home. Upon arriving, they did not notice anything
out of the ordinary and proceeded inside. Lori had video
surveillance at her home, and there is video footage of the
three arriving. According to all three, Beasley jumped out of
either the closet or the hallway with a knife in one hand and
a pipe wrench in his other hand and stated something to the
effect of, "now I can get all three of
Vernon testified that, fearing for his family's safety,
he hit Beasley over the head with a cat's scratching post
as Beasley pushed Elaine to the ground. A struggle then
ensued, and Beasley lost control of the knife, but was able
to strike Vernon several times with the pipe wrench. Vernon
stated that Elaine was able to get free and escaped through
the front door but Beasley followed her. The surveillance
footage showed Elaine leaving the property going in the
direction of the neighbor's house, and Beasley exited
shortly after, armed with a hammer. Vernon was then shown on
the video going outside, but then he retreated back inside as
Beasley came back to the home. Beasley can then be seen
breaking the glass of the front door with the hammer.
Afterward, Beasley left the scene, and the police arrived.
According to Officer Bradley Sumrall of the Gulfport Police
Department, Vernon's head was soaked with blood, and he
had sustained several injuries that required medical
treatment. Beasley was arrested the following day.
In Beasley's taped interview with police, he stated that
he was just trying to talk to the Ehlers in order to get some
money that was owed to him, and to retrieve some of his
personal property from Lori's home. He stated that he
simply wanted to talk, and Vernon hit him first, which
sparked the fight. He also stated that, because of the
protection order against him and Lori's changing her cell
phone number, the two communicated by exchanging messages via
a storage unit and Lori's mailbox. During the interview,
Beasley admitted that he entered Lori's home through an
unlocked window and that he was armed with a pipe wrench.
Lori testified that Beasley did not have a key to her home
and that she did not give him permission to enter.
Beasley was indicted for burglary of a dwelling, aggravated
stalking, and aggravated assault. Beasley opted for a trial.
During the trial, Lori, Vernon, Elaine, Officer Sumrall, and
Investigator Alvin Kingston testified for the State. At the
trial's conclusion, Beasley was convicted on all counts
and sentenced as a habitual offender pursuant to Mississippi
Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015) to twenty years
for burglary, five years for aggravated stalking, and fifteen
years for aggravated assault, with each sentence to be served
concurrently in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections (MDOC), without the possibility of probation or
Beasley filed a motion for a new trial or, in the
alternative, a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV),
which was denied. This appeal followed.
Sufficiency and Weight of the Evidence
In challenging his convictions, Beasley erroneously combines
arguments regarding the overwhelming weight of the
evidence, his sole issue on appeal, with arguments that
address the legal sufficiency of the evidence. As
such, we address both arguments in this opinion. The
standards of review when addressing weight of the evidence
and legal sufficiency of the evidence are succinctly
addressed by the Mississippi Supreme Court in Bush v.
State, 895 So.2d 836 (Miss. 2005), abrogated in part
on other grounds by Little ...