OF JUDGMENT: 12/13/2016
WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. W. ASHLEY HINES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
ERIN ELIZABETH BRIGGS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
KAYLYN HAVRILLA MCCLINTON
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: WILLIE DEWAYNE RICHARDSON
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
The grand jury of Washington County indicted Earnest Stuckey
for one count of first- degree murder with a firearm
enhancement. Following a jury trial, Stuckey was convicted of
second-degree murder with a firearm enhancement and sentenced
to forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department
of Corrections (MDOC) and five years for the firearm
enhancement, to run consecutively. Stuckey filed a motion for
a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), or for a new
trial, which the trial court denied. Stuckey timely appeals.
After review of the record, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In late 2013 or 2014, Stuckey met Jennifer Triplett. The pair
began dating and moved in with each other in Greenville,
Mississippi. They often referred to each other as
"husband" and "wife." Jennifer's
brother, Arthur Triplett,  would stay with Stuckey and Jennifer
from time to time, and several witnesses testified that
Stuckey and Arthur had a good relationship. Sharnika Laws,
Arthur's niece, testified that she considered Stuckey and
Arthur to be friends, and Stuckey also referred to Arthur as
In January 2015, Jennifer, Stuckey, Arthur, Sharnika, and
Sharnika's daughter were visiting out at Jennifer and
Stuckey's home. Jennifer testified that some of the
guests were consuming beer and alcohol. At some point in the
evening, Clifford "Cliff" Gray stopped by the home.
Stuckey testified that Arthur and Cliff were involved in a
heated exchange regarding loud music that Cliff was playing
when he entered Jennifer and Stuckey's home.
Jennifer testified that shortly after this exchange, everyone
left except Arthur and Stuckey. Jennifer stated that Clifford
left, because she called the police after Cliff and
Arthur's brief exchange. Jennifer testified that while
she was in her daughter's room she heard Stuckey and
Arthur loudly yelling. Jennifer stated that she left the
house and drove to a gas station because she had a headache.
After about ten minutes, Jennifer's niece, Sharnika,
arrived at the gas station.
Sharnika testified that after speaking with Jennifer at the
gas station, she drove to Jennifer's home to locate
Arthur. Sharnika stated that as soon as Stuckey opened the
door, she saw a big puddle of blood at the front door and
that when she asked Stuckey about Arthur's whereabouts,
Stuckey replied, "I shot him." Further, Sharnika
stated that Stuckey falsely informed her that an ambulance
came to pick up Arthur. She stated that she believed him
because Stuckey's demeanor was calm. However, moments
later Sharnika and her Aunt Marsha found Arthur lying in the
street right down from Jennifer and Stuckey's home.
Arthur had been shot, and he was bleeding. Sharnika stated
that she tried to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to
the wound while Marsha prayed. Shortly after, the police and
the ambulance arrived to care for Arthur; however, Arthur
later died from his injuries.
Cordell Daniels, an officer with the Greenville Police
Department at the time, arrived to Jennifer and Stuckey's
home. Officer Adams and Officer Michael Hollingsworth also
were at the scene shortly after Arthur's body was
discovered in the street. Officer Daniels testified that
Stuckey admitted to shooting Arthur or "his
brother-in-law" after Arthur lunged at him twice.
However, Officers Daniels and Hollingsworth testified that
there were ...