ROGER LEE JACKSON a/k/a ROGER JACKSON a/k/a ROGER L. JACKSON
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 05/05/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JEFF WEILL, SR. TRIAL JUDGE
COURT ATTORNEYS: GREG RICHARD SPORE MICHELE PURVIS HARRIS
MICHAEL ERIC BROWN ESEOSA GWENDLINE AGHO JACK BRADLEY
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ROBERT SHULER SMITH
KITCHENS, P.J., BEAM AND CHAMBERLIN, JJ.
Roger Lee Jackson appeals from his convictions for aggravated
assault and felon in possession of a firearm after a jury
trial in Hinds County Circuit Court. The jury acquitted
Jackson of deliberate-design murder, which was charged in the
same indictment. Jackson claims the trial court committed
reversible error by: (1) limiting defense counsel's
cross-examination of State's witnesses; and (2) limiting
defense counsel's closing argument about reasonable
doubt. Finding no reversible error, we affirm Jackson's
In the early morning hours on November 11, 2014, two men were
shot near Roach Street in Jackson, Mississippi. One of the
victims, Quincy McGowan, died. His body was discovered in a
nearby vacant lot by a passerby shortly after noon on
November 11. Police found ten 9 mm shell casings near the
body, and a 9 mm projectile was recovered from McGowan's
body during autopsy.
The other victim, Emmanuel Jones, survived after being shot
five times-once in the face, three times in the torso, and
once in the foot. Doctors retrieved a .22 caliber projectile
from Jones's body during treatment at a nearby hospital.
Jones testified at Jackson's trial. According to Jones,
he and Jackson were riding around in Jackson's vehicle
looking to buy some drugs on the night of the shooting. At
some point, Jones and Jackson encountered Jerry Lewis driving
another vehicle, with two males riding as passengers. Jones
and Jackson followed Lewis to the vicinity of Roach Street
and Farrish Street, where they parked the vehicles in a
Jackson and Lewis got out of their vehicles and started
talking. The two then began to argue. Jones said he heard
Jackson tell one of the other individuals riding with Lewis
to get out of the vehicle. Jones said he heard a gunshot, and
he saw Jackson shoot McGowan. Jackson then came back to his
vehicle and walked over to the passenger side where Jones was
sitting, and began shooting Jones.
Jones got out of the vehicle and ran to a nearby house,
banged on the door, and collapsed on the porch. The
home's occupant called 911.
A couple of weeks after the shooting, Jones identified
Jackson from a photo lineup as the person who had shot him.
Jones told the jury he believed Jackson had shot him (Jones)
because Jackson did not want any witnesses.
On cross-examination, Jones admitted he was a prior-convicted
felon and was on probation at the time of the shooting. Jones
said he was not allowed to own or possess a firearm. Jones
said he did not own a gun, and was not in possession of one
at the time of the shootings.
Jones's sister, Jerminda Myers, testified on behalf of
the State. Myers said, soon after the shooting, she talked to
Jones at the hospital about what had happened. Myers, who had
once dated Jackson, said she had received a phone call from
Jackson shortly after she talked to Jones at the hospital.
Jackson said he heard Jones had been shot. According to
Myers, Jackson was questioning her about Jones's
condition and trying to find out if Jones was able to talk.
Myers said she "played along" and told Jackson
Jones "was in critical condition." Myers said
"it wasn't true." Jones was not in critical
condition, and she had talked to Jones and Jones had told her
who shot him. Myers said when Jackson said to her,
"Ain't no telling who did it[, ]" she
"almost bit [her tongue] off."
Myers said she received another phone call from Jackson a day
later, asking if she still lived in the same apartment. And
Jackson asked if Myers's mother still lived in the same
location. Myers said she responded to Jackson: "I asked
him did his mom stay in the same spot she lived in."
Detective Rozerrio Camel of the Jackson Police Department
testified on behalf of the State and the defense. Detective
Camel investigated the scene where McGowan's body was
found on November 11.
Detective Camel said Jackson developed as a suspect in the
case during his investigation. And Detective Camel said he
received a telephone call from an individual named Michael
Davis, saying he had some information concerning the death of
Davis testified at trial that McGowan was his best friend,
whom he had known since the fourth grade. When Davis learned
McGowan had been killed, Davis began asking around trying to
found out who had killed him. Davis said when he spoke to
Jackson, Jackson had admitted killing McGowan. According to
Davis, Jackson stated: "Okay. I did it. Now what are you
going to do?"
Davis thereafter spoke to Detective Camel and told him that
Jackson had said he had killed McGowan. Detective Camel
showed Davis a photograph lineup, from which Davis identified
Jackson. Davis also identified Jackson in the courtroom as
the person who had told him that he had killed McGowan.
On cross-examination, Davis testified that he had a
subsequent conversation with Jackson in which Jackson said
that Lewis also was involved, along with someone named
During the defense's case-in-chief, the defense called
two witnesses: Detective Camel and Tommy Bishop, a firearms
examiner at the Mississippi Crime Laboratory. Jackson did not
The defense first asked Detective Camel about items that were
found at the crime scene and what, if any, forensic tests
were conducted on those items. Detective Camel said he had
turned over all the items recovered to the Mississippi Crime
Lab. The defense also asked Detective Camel whether any DNA
samples were collected from Jones, or from anyone else in
connection with the shootings. Detective Camel said no DNA
samples were collected from anyone.
Lastly, the defense asked Detective Camel whether he had
interviewed Lewis during the course of his investigation.
Detective Camel said he had interviewed Lewis, and Lewis was
considered a potential suspect. But according to Detective
Camel, they did not have enough evidence linking him to the
shooting(s). Detective Camel said "nobody came to me and
told me that they saw [Lewis] shoot [anyone]." When the
defense asked Detective Camel whether Lewis was dismissed as
a potential suspect, Detective Camel said: "I never did
dismiss him. I just didn't have enough to make an arrest.
Like I said, I did interview him."
Bishop testified that he had examined one of the bullet
projectiles recovered from Jones's body. Bishop said he
was positive it was "a .22-caliber[, ]" and not a
"nine-millimeter." Based on a question asked by the
defense, Bishop said the report he received in the case
listed two suspects, "Roger Jackson and Jerry
After the case was submitted to the jury, Jackson was found
guilty of aggravated assault and felon in possession of a
firearm. The jury acquitted Jackson of deliberate-design
murder. This appeal followed. Additional facts will be
related in the discussion of the issues.
Whether the trial court erred in limiting
Jackson's cross- examination of the
Jackson claims his defense strategy at trial was to impeach
Jones and shift the blame for both shootings to Lewis.
According to Jackson, at several key points during
cross-examination of state witnesses, the State interrupted
Jackson's efforts to establish evidence in support of his
defense with various objections that were sustained by the
trial court. Jackson contends this violated his federal and