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Bell v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 20, 2018

EARNEST BELL A/K/A ERNEST BELL A/K/A EARNEST BELL, JR. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/12/2016

         MONTGOMERY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER JR. Judge

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BILLY L. GORE

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DOUG EVANS

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., WESTBROOKS AND TINDELL, JJ.

          GRIFFIS, P.J.

         ¶1. Ernest Bell was convicted of attempted felony motor-vehicle theft. Bell has appealed, and his counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Lindsey v. State, 939 So.2d 743 (Miss. 2005). His counsel states he has searched the record but was unable to find any arguable issues for appellate review. Bell was given the opportunity to, but did not, file a pro se brief. We find no error and affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Otis Davis owned a red 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix, which he purchased for $1, 500. On the morning of July 21, 2015, Otis locked and parked the vehicle on the side of Thompson Road near his job site. That afternoon, Oeisha Davis, Otis's daughter, was driving on Highway 82, crossing over onto Thompson Road, when she saw a black vehicle parked near her father's Grand Prix. As she approached, Oeisha saw a man emerge from the driver's side of Otis's car. When she asked what he was doing, the man responded, "Mike sent me." At that point, Oeisha's mother, Mary Turner, pulled up to the scene. When Mary arrived, Oeshia saw the passenger-side door of Otis's car open and a "taller guy" emerge from the Grand Prix. Both men subsequently drove off in the black vehicle.

         ¶3. Oeisha called the police. She gave a description and the license-plate number of the vehicle, as well as the direction the vehicle was headed. When Oeisha looked into the Grand Prix, she saw an object, later identified as a hammer, on the passenger-side floor. She also noticed damage to the steering column.

         ¶4. Mary lives on Thompson Road. She was headed towards Highway 82 when she saw her daughter stopped on the side of the road near Otis's car. When Mary approached the Grand Prix, she saw a man exit the driver's side of Otis's vehicle and another man exit the passenger side. According to Mary, the man who exited the passenger side yelled, "let's go, " and the two men left the scene in a black vehicle. Mary testified that the man she saw exit the passenger side of the Grand Prix was driving the black vehicle. She further testified that the black vehicle had a Leflore County tag.

         ¶5. Mary testified that she saw "wrenches" inside the Grand Prix and noticed that the steering wheel was broken. She was presented a photo line-up, and she identified Bell as the man she saw emerge from the passenger side of Otis's Grand Prix. Mary also identified a photograph of the Grand Prix and said that it was the vehicle Bell exited.

         ¶6. Deputy Jim Burton with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office was informed of an automobile break-in. Based on the description and license-plate number of the vehicle, Burton located and stopped the vehicle ...


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