CARLOS C. JONES A/K/A CARLOS JONES A/K/A CARLOS J. JONES APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 10/18/2016
JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. PRENTISS GREENE
HARRELL, TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD.
IRVING, P.J., BARNES AND WILSON, JJ.
Carlos Jones appeals his conviction for second-degree murder,
alleging three issues: (1) the trial court erred in admitting
a video depicting testimonial evidence; (2) the trial court
erred in refusing to allow his witness to testify as an
expert; and (3) his trial counsel was constitutionally
ineffective. Finding no reversible error, we affirm.
At the time of the events giving rise to trial, Jones and his
wife, Tabatha Smith, were living with Tabatha's two
children in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi. Jones
testified that on the morning of December 5, 2014, he awoke,
got out of bed, and left his and Tabatha's bedroom to
wake the children. Upon returning to the bedroom, he and
Tabatha-who was awake but still in bed at this point-began
"fussing." Tabatha rolled over onto the handgun that
Jones kept under his pillow and said, "You and this
gun." Jones pulled the gun out from under the pillow and
assured Tabatha that it was not loaded. He then put the gun
in the back pocket of his pants, but it fell through a hole
in the pocket and hit the floor. Jones later testified at
trial as follows:
Q. And you're not saying [the gun] fired when it hit the
A. I'm not saying it fired when it hit the floor. I'm
saying when I grabbed it, I don't know how did I [sic]
grab it, the gun went off. I know [sic]. I didn't even
know how many times she was shot until, you know, I - -I just
- - when she - - when that gun went off, she sa[id], "I
told you." I looked at my wife. She was bleeding.
* * * *
A. When I was coming up, the gun went off.
BY THE PROSECUTOR
Q: All right. So you - - you're saying apparently that
you didn't even pull the trigger.
A. I don't know how I retrieved that gun. . . .
** * *
Q. Well, where did you point the gun when you came up?
A. I didn't - - I didn't know it hit her. I just
heard it go off. She just said,
"I told you." I didn't point the gun.
** * *
A. In my attention [sic], I think the gun just shot. I
didn't pull no trigger on no gun [sic]. It was an
accident. It was an accident.
According to Jones, Tabatha, upon realizing that she had been
shot, said, "I told you." Jones asserted that
Tabatha told him not to call 911 because it would take too
long, so he dragged her out of the house and placed her into
the back seat of his car. Then, with Tabatha's two
children in the front seat, he drove to Prentiss Regional
Jones testified that when he reached the emergency room, he
shouted for help from a man standing nearby. The man, later
identified as Antonio McClendon, helped Jones alert the
nurses, who loaded Tabatha into a wheelchair and admitted
her. Tabatha was still conscious at this point.
McClendon later testified at trial that he had been standing
outside of an apartment complex near the emergency room when
Jones drove up. He recognized Jones and Tabatha from meeting
them on a prior occasion and walked over to the hospital to
investigate. McClendon further testified:
Q. Okay. Did [Jones] tell you what had happened to her?
A. After - - after we got her out [of the car and into the
hospital], he was - - he was saying that, you know, there was
some kind of - - it was early in the morning. He was - - you
know, they was just [sic], you know, having words I guess or
whatever, and he was, like, he was playing with her with - -
with the gun, you know, like, ["Y]ou going to get this
right here. Now give me some, ["] you know.
I guess something they always do [sic]. You know, I don't
know. You know, that's what he was telling me. And he
was, like, such and such, and the gun went off and ...