Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 2, 2018

FREDRICK SMITH JR. A/K/A FREDERICK J. SMITH A/K/A FREDERICK SMITH A/K/A FREDRICK SMITH A/K/A FREDERICK SMITH JR. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/17/2015

         HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. WILLIAM A. GOWAN JR. TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: JOHN M. COLETTE SHERWOOD ALEXANDER COLETTE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ROBERT SHULER SMITH

         EN BANC.

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. Frederick Smith appeals his conviction from Hinds County Circuit Court, First Judicial District, of two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. More specifically, the jury found him guilty of shooting two people. On appeal, his asserted errors are that: (1) the trial court did not allow an alibi witness to testify; (2) the trial court allowed impermissible hearsay testimony in violation of Crawford v. Washington;[1] and (3) the evidence was insufficient as to one of the counts. Upon review, we find the circuit court erred by disallowing Smith's alibi witness to testify. We reverse Smith's conviction and remand for a new trial.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2. On July 13, 2013, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Jessica Keys and Cameron Conner were both shot at a gas station in Jackson, Mississippi. Keys was riding passenger in a car operated by her coworker when they pulled into the gas station, and parked facing the station, with the gas pump on the driver's side. Conner was inside the station, and when he exited, Keys recognized him. Keys opened her car door and stood up outside the car but from behind the door, calling out to Connor. Connor then came over to Keys, almost reaching her door.

         ¶3. Earlier, while Keys's vehicle was parked and Conner was inside, a car had pulled in and parked on the opposite side of the same stall, also facing the station. No occupants exited until approximately two minutes later, when Conner reached Keys's door. At that time, three individuals exited the car and opened fire on Keys and Conner. Both Keys and Conner dropped to the ground for cover. Keys attempted to wedge herself under the car, lying along the car's length with her head toward the rear, while Conner used the outside of the still-open car door for protection. One of the three shooters pivoted around the rear of Keys's vehicle, firing his weapon as he moved along the rear-passenger side. Conner crawled from the car door to the front of the vehicle, attempting to seek better cover. As Conner moved, the same shooter continued to fire, pivoting to get a better angle at Conner.

         ¶4. Keys was shot three times and remained alongside the car until she was transported by ambulance to University of Mississippi Medical Center. Conner left the scene prior to the first responders' arrival, when other individuals helped him inside their vehicle.[2]

         ¶5. Keys viewed a photo lineup and identified Fredrick Smith as one of the shooters. Smith was indicted on January 29, 2014, on two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-7(2)(b) (Supp. 2012). On June 10, 2014, the Hinds County District Attorney's Office withdrew because one of Smith's co-indictees was serving as a cooperating witness for the State in another prosecution. On June 23, 2014, the Mississippi Office of the Attorney General was appointed as special prosecutor in Smith's case.

         ¶6. During trial, the court granted Smith's motion in limine to exclude third-party identifications tying Smith to the shooting, including any identifications within tips submitted to Crime Stoppers.[3] Detective Rozerrio Camel of the Jackson Police Department, the assigned investigator, testified for the State. Prior to his testimony, the trial judge advised the State to inform Detective Camel he could not mention any information contained within the Crime Stoppers tips, stating "[the nature of the tips] is hearsay." However, during his testimony, Detective Camel stated, "during the course of investigation, I received information and tips-and tips regarding Frederick Smith. Tips was stating that Frederick Smith- [(interrupted by colloquy regarding an objection)] . . . . Tips. I received tips regarding Frederick Smith and-and the purple automobile that he drives." Following Detective Camel's statement, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.