SERGIO SEBASTIAN GONZALEZ A/K/A SEBASTIAN GONZALES A/K/A SERGIO S. GONZALEZ A/K/A SERGIO SEBASTAIN GONZALEZ APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 07/27/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. JAMES SETH ANDREW POUNDS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT; PATRICK M. RAND
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
KATY TAYLOR GERBER
LEE, C.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Sergio Sebastian Gonzalez was convicted of felony aggravated
assault and was sentenced to serve twenty years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Gonzalez appeals, claiming that the trial court committed
reversible error by allowing the prosecution to enter a
medical screening form into evidence. Finding no abuse of
discretion or reversible error, we affirm.
Gonzalez and Gina Rodriguez were married in 2010. By 2014,
the couple had separated and were contemplating divorce. On
August 9, 2014, Gonzalez went to Gina's house in
violation of a protective order. Upon entering the home, he
saw Andres Gonzalez sitting on the couch in a state of
undress. Gina and Andres began seeing each other while Gina
was still living with Gonzalez.
Gonzalez testified that when he walked in, Andres stated,
"Here I am. Do you want something from me?"
Gonzalez is 5'3" tall, and weighs 136 pounds, while
Andres is 5'8" tall, and weighs approximately 185
pounds. Gonzalez then went to the kitchen and grabbed two
kitchen knives. A struggle followed, and Andres suffered stab
wounds to the right side of his head, his side, his back, and
several lacerations to his arms. He also suffered a collapsed
lung. As a result, Andres was airlifted to North Mississippi
Medical Center. Four days after the incident, Gonzalez
voluntarily turned himself in to the authorities and was
charged with aggravated assault.
Gonzalez testified in his own defense. On cross-examination,
he claimed that he attacked Andres in self-defense and had
been left with bitemarks on his arms and bruises from the
struggle - though he admitted they had been inflicted after
he stabbed Andres. The prosecution called as rebuttal
witnesses Lynn Parrish and Tyler Reed, the jailers who
prepared Gonzalez's booking paperwork at the jail.
Parrish, whose testimony was corroborated by Reed, testified
that while booking Gonzalez into jail, she did not observe
any bitemarks or bruising. The prosecution presented a
medical screening form, which was unsigned, undated, and the
majority of it left blank. Parrish testified that she had
asked Gonzalez the questions contained in the form, but
because he answered them all in the negative, and because she
did not observe any cuts or bruises on him, she did not mark
anything on the medical form.
Gonzalez contends the medical form was not produced to
defense counsel during discovery, and therefore, should not
have been entered into evidence at trial. When reviewing
whether a discovery violation has occurred, it must first be
noted that the decision to admit or exclude evidence is left
to the trial court's discretion. Carpenter v.
State, 132 So.3d 1053, 1055 (¶5) (Miss. 2013). The
same standard applies to violations of the Mississippi
Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court Practice
and to a trial court's denial of motions for continuance
or mistrial. Payton v. State, 897 So.2d 921, 942
(¶67) (Miss. 2003); see also Hurst v. State,
195 So.3d 736, 744 (¶20) (Miss. 2016).
Rule 9.04 provides that if the prosecution attempts to
introduce evidence that has not been disclosed according to