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Haynes v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi, En Banc

May 31, 2018

DARIUS PARNELL HAYNES a/k/a DARIUS HAYNES a/k/a DARIUS P. HAYNES a/k/a DIRK
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/28/2016

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: COPIAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LAMAR PICKARD TRIAL JUDGE

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: TERRY WALLACE M. A. BASS.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: MOLLIE M. McMILLIN GEORGE T. HOLMES.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA AINSWORTH.

          CHAMBERLIN, JUSTICE.

         ¶1. After a trial, a jury convicted Darius Parnell Haynes in the Circuit Court of Copiah County of two counts: possession of cocaine while in possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon by a felon. Because the evidence was legally sufficient to support the conviction of possession of cocaine, we affirm Haynes's conviction for possession and the corresponding sentence. The conviction and sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon are not affected as Haynes has not requested that we review them.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On March 27, 2016, Haynes and Kimmeisha Harris fought at a friend's house. After the fight, Haynes left with Xavier Brown in Brown's maroon Mercury Marquis, which had broken-out back window. Meanwhile, Harris went to the hospital, where she gave Investigator Wendell Fountain a statement. Harris told Investigator Fountain that, during the fight, she thought she had seen Haynes with a gun and that Haynes had threatened to shoot her. Harris also gave Investigator Fountain a description of the car in which Haynes had left.

         ¶3. After leaving the hospital, Investigator Fountain spotted a maroon Mercury Marquis with a broken-out back window at a nearby gas station. Brown was standing outside the car, pumping gas. Haynes was sitting in the passenger seat. Investigator Fountain approached the vehicle and noticed a small plastic bag containing a white substance, which was identified at trial as 0.34 grams of cocaine. The plastic bag was in plain view, located in the ashtray between the driver and passenger seats. Investigator Fountain asked Haynes "if he knew why he was making contact with him." According to Investigator Fountain, Haynes said, "It's probably because of a little incident that I just had." Investigator Fountain then received consent from Brown to search the car, and he found a gun in the glove box. Brown testified that the gun in the glove box belonged to Haynes and was the same gun from the incident at the friend's house.

         ¶4. Brown also testified concerning State's Exhibit 3, the small plastic bag of cocaine[1] that Investigator Fountain had recovered from the ashtray. The following exchange between the State and Brown entered evidence:

State: [D]id you get a chance to snort any of that cocaine that night?
Brown: Yes, sir.
State: So when you had that substance, you believed it to be cocaine?
Brown: Yes, sir.
State: And so you said you snorted it.
Brown: Yes, sir.
State: Who else was with you when you snorted that substance ...

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