WILLIE CARL PICKETT A/K/A WILLIE PICKETT A/K/A WILLIE C. PICKETT AND JACARRUS ANTYONE PICKETT A/K/A JACARRUS PICKETT A/K/A ANTYONE PICKETT A/K/A JACARRUS A. PICKETT APPELLANTS
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 02/06/2018
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL HON. LESTER F. WILLIAMSON JR.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK ROBERT GREER WHITACRE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BILBO MITCHELL
Jacarrus Pickett and Willie Pickett were tried jointly and
convicted of attempted first- degree murder. On appeal, they
argue: (1) the indictment was improperly amended; (2) the
indictment, as amended, is void; (3) the jury was improperly
instructed on the elements of attempted murder; (4)
Mississippi's attempted-murder statute is
unconstitutional; and (5) the verdict was against the weight
and sufficiency of the evidence. We find no error and affirm.
Walter Culpepper, James Taylor, and Decarlos Clark worked as
garbage men in Meridian, Mississippi. On October 31, 2013,
the men were assigned a route Clark had never worked. Clark
told his supervisor that he could not go on the route because
of a dispute with some men in that area. The supervisor told
him to go on the assigned route or go home. So Clark worked
the route with Culpepper and Taylor. Culpepper drove the
truck, while Taylor and Clark rode on the back, loading
garbage into the truck. Taylor testified that Clark appeared
nervous and jittery. As they approached an area near Oakland
Heights Elementary School, Clark told Taylor he had been in
an altercation with someone in that area. Taylor then saw a
tall, muscular man running toward the truck with a pistol.
Clark recognized the man as Willie. Clark testified that
Willie yelled at him, "I gotcha[.] I'm fixing to
kill you, B****." Clark jumped into the cab of the truck
and hid under the dash. Willie told Culpepper and Taylor to
get out of the way if they did not want to be involved.
Culpepper and Taylor fled. According to Clark, Willie fired
multiple shots at the garbage truck. Clark testified that
Willie only retreated either when his gun jammed or when he
ran out of bullets. No one was struck.
Clark testified that he exited the truck when he thought
Willie was gone. Culpepper had returned at that point and
asked Clark if he was okay. Just as Clark responded that he
was okay, he heard Jacarrus yell, "Turn around, Willie,
he ain't dead. But I'm fixing to kill him."
Clark testified that Jacarrus then fired approximately
fifteen rounds at him. Clark ran up a hill and escaped
uninjured. Culpepper corroborated Clark's testimony that
all the shots were directed at Clark. Investigators recovered
thirteen shell casings near the garbage truck, and found
eight bullet holes in the hood, side mirror, windshield, and
4. Jacarrus and Willie were convicted in the Lauderdale
County Circuit Court of attempted first-degree murder.
Jacarrus was sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of
the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with ten
years suspended, and five years of postrelease supervision.
Willie was sentenced to thirty years in the custody of the
MDOC, with ten years suspended, and five years of postrelease
supervision. Posttrial motions were denied, and this appeal
followed. Jacarrus and Willie have submitted separate briefs
raising the same issues for appeal. Willie joins all
arguments presented by Jacarrus, whose brief was filed first.
Jacarrus and Willie first argue that the circuit court
erroneously allowed the State to amend the indictment on the
second day of trial. "The circuit court's decision
to allow an indictment to be amended is a question of law,
" which we review de novo. Williams v. State,
131 So.3d 1174, 1176-77 (¶6) (Miss. 2014) (quoting
Powell v. State, 80 So.3d 849, 852 (¶9) (Miss.
Ct. App. 2012)).
An indictment may be amended "to correct defects of
form; however, defects of substance must be corrected by the
grand jury." Patton v. State, 109 So.3d 66,
80-81 (¶44) (Miss. 2012). An amendment to form does not
"alter facts [that] are the essence of the offense on
the face of the indictment as it originally stood or
materially alter a defense to the indictment as it originally
stood so as to prejudice the defendant's case."
Id. "The test for whether an amendment to the
indictment will prejudice the defense is whether the defense
as it originally stood will be equally available after the
amendment is made." Id. "Amendment ...