EDDRICK WILLIS CYRUS a/k/a EDDRICK CYRUS a/k/a EDDRICK W. CYRUS
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 01/12/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JON MARK WEATHERS TRIAL JUDGE
COURT ATTORNEYS: TIMOTHY KEVIN BYRNE STEVEN ALFRED KOHNKE
JACK LUCIAN DENTON DECARLO CHAS HOOD
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
BY: BENJAMIN ALLEN SUBER GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: PATRICIA A. THOMAS BURCHELL
KITCHENS, P.J., KING AND COLEMAN, JJ.
On December 13, 2016, a jury convicted Eddrick Cyrus of sale
of less than two grams of a controlled substance. Cyrus
appeals his conviction, arguing that the verdict was against
the overwhelming weight of the evidence and that he is
consequently entitled to a new trial. Because the verdict is
not against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, this
Court affirms his conviction.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On July 30, 2014, Cyrus sold heroin to Joshua Kizziah, a
confidential informant making a controlled buy arranged by
Agent Benji Hensarling. The buy was captured on a very clear
video that depicted Cyrus giving Kizziah two bags in exchange
for money. The video had a time stamp on it of
"2001/02/14." Agent Hensarling testified that no
one ever sets the clock on the video equipment. Kizziah gave
the two bags to Agent Hensarling. Agent Hensarling testified
that he placed the alleged heroin in a bag, heat sealed the
bag, and placed it in the locked Metro Evidence locker.
Sergeant Joe Kennedy testified that he observed Commander
Adams retrieve the bag from the evidence locker. He testified
that he then transported the bag to the Mississippi Forensics
Laboratory. A drug analyst from the Forensics Lab testified
regarding the Forensics Lab's chain of custody
procedures. She determined that the bag contained heroin and
the non-controlled substance diphenhydramine. Agent
Hensarling testified that he retrieved the bag from the
Forensics Lab after testing was completed and transported it
back to the police station. The chain of custody form on the
bag itself depicts only that Agent Hensarling placed the bag
into the Metro Evidence locker on July 30, 2014. Sergeant
Kennedy testified that the police often noted the chain of
custody in a log book, rather than on the evidence itself,
although that log book was never placed into evidence.
The State tried Cyrus in December 2016, and the jury found
him guilty of the sale of less than two grams of a controlled
substance. The court sentenced Cyrus to serve fourteen years
without the possibility of parole, as a habitual and second
and subsequent offender. Cyrus appeals his conviction,
arguing that the trial court erred by denying his motion for
a new trial because the verdict was against the overwhelming
weight of the evidence for two reasons. He argues that the
evidence does not support that the incident occurred on July
30, 2014. He also argues that the State failed to prove the
chain of custody of the evidence.
In considering whether a verdict is contrary to the
overwhelming weight of the evidence, this Court reviews the
evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict to
determine whether the verdict is so contrary to the
overwhelming weight of the evidence that allowing it to stand
would amount to an unconscionable injustice. Little v.
State, - So.3d -, 2017 WL 4546740 (Miss. Oct. 12, 2017).
In reviewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
verdict, the Court must accept the evidence supporting the
verdict as true. Gillett v. State, 56 So.3d 469, ...