CHRISTOPHER LEE THOMPSON A/K/A CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON A/K/A CHRISTOPHER L. THOMPSON APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 02/19/2016
FROM WHICH APPEALED: MONROE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JAMES
SETH ANDREW POUNDS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: LUANNE STARK THOMPSON TIFFANY LEIGH
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND GREENLEE, JJ.
Christopher Lee Thompson was convicted of manslaughter in
violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-35 (Rev.
2014). On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in
denying his motion for a directed verdict pursuant to the
Weathersby rule. We find no error and affirm. FACTS
Around 5:30 a.m. on March 4, 2014, Thomas James called 911
and reported that he believed that his brother-in-law,
Thompson, had killed someone. The dispatcher later testified
that Thompson told James that "[Thompson] thought he
killed [Thomas Harlow because] he had pushed his eyes into
the back of his head." James gave the dispatcher
Thompson's address, and authorities were dispatched.
Deputy Wayne Wilbanks went to Thompson's house and
questioned him. Meanwhile, Deputy Patrick Chism was
dispatched to the scene of the crime at Harlow's
sister's trailer. Upon his arrival, Deputy Chism entered
the trailer and found Harlow's dead body. He was later
joined by Investigator Brandon Davis.
Davis testified that the body was found in a bedroom where it
was evident that Harlow had been badly beaten and an
altercation had taken place. Harlow was "black and
blue" and had blood running from his head and eyes.
Potted plants had been overturned, and there was an
overturned television on the ground near Harlow's body.
After investigating the crime scene, Davis interviewed
Thompson at the police station.
During the interview, Thompson said that he and his wife had
been out drinking with Harlow until the early morning of
March 4. After leaving a bar, the three went to Harlow's
sister's trailer to continue drinking and listen to
music. When Thompson suggested it was time to go home, Harlow
offered to let Thompson and his wife sleep in a spare bedroom
to avoid driving home drunk. Thompson agreed, and everyone
went to sleep.
Thompson testified that at about 2:00 a.m., he was awoken by
someone pulling off his underwear and performing oral sex.
Thompson initially thought it was his wife, but he soon
discovered that it was Harlow. It was undisputed that an
altercation followed, but the precise events varied to some
extent when Thompson relayed them to people.
Thompson's brother-in-law, James, encountered Thompson
not long after the incident. According to James,
"[Thompson] said he hit [Harlow]. They were scuffling.
[Thompson] said he grabbed [Harlow's] head and shoved his
thumbs in his eyes. [Thompson] picked up a TV and hit
[Harlow] with it. And after that [Thompson] said he realized
[Harlow] wasn't moving [anymore] and [Thompson and his
wife] left." James stated that he told Thompson that
they needed to call the police and have someone check on
Harlow, but Thompson declined. James then secretly called 911
and the dispatcher sent officers to Thompson's house and
ultimately to the scene of the crime at Harlow's
Thompson's account to Wilbanks was slightly different.
Thompson told Wilbanks that after Harlow woke him up, he
started punching Harlow and screaming for his wife to turn on
the lights. The lights came on and he heard Harlow fall on
the floor. Thompson told Wilbanks he "thought he had
knocked [Harlow] out because he heard [Harlow] moan."
Thompson and his wife then left. Thompson did not mention the
television or gouging Harlow's eyes.
During Davis's interview, Thompson said that when he
discovered that it was Harlow who was performing oral sex,
Thompson grabbed Harlow's hair and punched him three or
four times and told his wife to turn on the light. Thompson
stated that he and Harlow ended up on the floor and Thompson
elbowed Harlow. By the time that Thompson's wife turned
on the light, Harlow was knocked out, so Thompson and his
wife left the scene. During the interview, Thompson denied
hitting Harlow with anything other than his fists, including
the overturned television set. He also stated that he did not
believe that Harlow needed medical attention or that he had
gouged Harlow's eyes. ...