WALTER DEWAYNE SANFORD a/k/a WALTER SANFORD a/k/a WALTER D. SANFORD
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 02/07/2017
RIVER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: HON. CLAIBORNE McDONALD JUDGE
COURT ATTORNEYS: JOHN MICHAEL HORAN, JAMES L. GRAY, JOHN A.
HOWELL, CURTIS LEE HAYS, VANESSA J. JONES, HALDON J. KITTRELL
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
BY: W. DANIEL HINCHCLIFF GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE
WALLER, C.J., COLEMAN AND MAXWELL, JJ.
WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE
Walter Dewayne Sanford was convicted in Pearl River County
Circuit Court for aggravated DUI causing death under
Mississippi Code Section 63-11-30(5). Having found no
appealable issues, Sanford's counsel filed a
Lindsey brief. Sanford argues, pro se,
insufficiency of the evidence. Finding the conviction is
supported by legally sufficient evidence, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On a clear afternoon around 3:00 on November 20, 2014,
Sanford was driving with his passenger, Teresa Ann Spiers, on
Interstate 59 South in a grey sedan owned by Sanford's
mother. Kendra Newton, who was driving on Interstate 59
North, saw Sanford make a u-turn in the median and join the
northbound lane of traffic. Norma Richard, also traveling
northbound, reported that Sanford had crossed the median and
started driving north. Once Sanford was across the median and
traveling in the northbound lanes, both Newton and Richard
observed him driving erratically, including speeding up and
slowing down several times in the left lane. Newton reported
that, eventually, Sanford drove behind her vehicle in the
right lane. Newton was about to exit Interstate 59 when
Sanford crashed into the rear of Newton's car.
Emergency crews arrived at the scene of the accident and
encountered Sanford trying to administer CPR to Spiers.
Fireman Darren Dennis asked Sanford, "Man, what
happened?" to which Sanford replied that he had
"swerved or lost control and flipped the vehicle."
Sanford's statements caused Dennis to believe Sanford had
been driving the vehicle.
Newton, Sanford, and Spiers were taken to the hospital.
Newton and Sanford survived, but Spiers passed away shortly
after the accident. Dr. Lisa Leek, the emergency room
physician, testified Spiers had died from "blunt force
trauma to her head" caused by the accident.
Sanford admitted he had been drinking before the accident,
and his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.23%. First
responders also found several empty cans of beer inside and
around Sanford's car. The grand jury indicted Sanford for
DUI causing death.
At trial, Sanford testified Spiers was driving the vehicle,
not him. Sanford's mother, Bobbie Sanford, also testified
that Spiers was driving when they had left her house that
morning. However, Newton testified that "the guy
[Sanford] was driving, " not the woman. And Richard