CHRISTOPHER WISE A/K/A CHRISTOPHER DONTARIUS WISE A/K/A CHRISTOPHER D. WISE APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 03/14/2017
FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST
JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JEFF WEILL SR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JEFFERY KENDRICK HARNESS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ROBERT SHULER SMITH
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
On June 26, 2015, Christopher Wise was indicted for the
murder of Jerrell Brown. A jury in the Hinds County Circuit
Court, First Judicial District, convicted Wise of
manslaughter. Wise was sentenced to serve twenty years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He now
appeals, asserting the following issues: (1) the State
committed a discovery violation; (2) the trial court erred in
denying his motion for speedy trial; (3) the trial court
erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict; (4) the
trial court erred in denying his jury instruction; and (5)
the evidence was insufficient to convict him of manslaughter.
Finding no error, we affirm.
On the night of January 25, 2015, in Jackson, Mississippi,
Marcus Ware testified that he received a call from Brown
asking to buy drugs. Ware told Brown to come to his apartment
and purchase the drugs from Wise. Brown came to the
apartment, bought ecstasy pills and marijuana from Wise, and
then left the apartment. Later, Brown called Ware complaining
that the pills were not effective. Ware said that Brown
indicated he was coming back to Ware's apartment. Ware
stated that Wise waited on Brown, but left when Brown failed
to show. Shortly after, Wise called Ware and told him that he
had shot Brown. According to Ware, Wise implied that Brown
had tried to rob him. Wise then told Ware, "You
ain't seen nothing. You don't know nothing."
Benard Vaughn, Brown's cousin, testified that he and
Brown were with friends who wanted ecstasy. Brown then called
Ware and asked for help in purchasing ecstasy and marijuana.
Ware told them to come to his apartment and buy the drugs
from Wise. Later at Ware's apartment, Brown purchased
$100 worth of ecstasy pills and marijuana from Wise.
According to both Vaughn and Wise, Brown pulled a large
amount of cash from his pocket in order to pay for the drugs.
Vaughn stated that he and Brown left to share the drugs with
friends at a nearby apartment.
After several hours, Vaughn went to wait for Brown in
Brown's car. While waiting in the passenger seat, Vaughn
fell asleep. He was roused by Brown, who told Vaughn that
they were leaving. Vaughn fell back asleep and remained
asleep until a police officer woke him and informed him that
Brown had been shot. Vaughn then saw Brown's body slumped
over in the driver's seat of the car. Vaughn testified
that he knew Brown had called Ware complaining that the pills
Wise had sold him were not effective. Vaughn also stated that
Brown was not carrying his weapon that night.
Alvin McDaniel, a patrolman with the Jackson Police
Department (JPD), responded to the scene. McDaniel saw a
white car with the driver's side door ajar. A deceased
male, later determined to be Brown, was slumped over in the
driver's seat with one leg partially protruding from the
car. McDaniel noticed another male in the passenger's
side seat who was sleeping. McDaniel also found a holstered
gun on the driver's side floorboard.
Detective Ella Thomas with JPD testified that she
investigated Brown's murder. Detective Thomas noted that
Brown's car had blood on the outside and inside of the
driver's side door. Brown's holstered gun was found
on the floorboard under his legs. Three shell casings from a
.9 mm handgun were found at the scene.
After locating Wise several months later, Detective Thomas
interviewed him. Wise told her that Brown had threatened him
with a gun, but that he was able to grab his gun and shoot at
Brown over his left shoulder. Wise said Brown then ran away.
Robert Watts, a crime scene investigator with JPD, testified
that he recovered three spent shell casings from the scene
and that the location of the shell casings indicated the
shooter was moving. Watts testified that "[t]he shooter
started in the parking lot, moved ...