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Patterson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 31, 2018


          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/03/2017






          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. An Alcorn County jury convicted Desmond Patterson of the attempted murder of Kelin Edgeston. The trial court sentenced Patterson to forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with ten years suspended. Patterson now appeals his conviction and sentence, arguing that the jury verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence and that the trial court erred in allowing testimony regarding Patterson's Facebook account into evidence. Finding no error, we affirm the trial court's judgment.


         ¶2. Patterson was indicted for the attempted murder[1] of Edgeston stemming from an April 15, 2016 altercation in Corinth, Mississippi. During the altercation, Patterson allegedly fired a gun in Edgeston's direction. Edgeston fled, and Patterson followed him. Patterson hit Edgeston in the back of the head with the gun and allegedly fired two additional shots, injuring Edgeston.

         ¶3. At a trial held February 27, 2017 through March 3, 2017, the jury heard testimony from Corinth Police Department officers who responded to the 911 call reporting the shooting. The jury also heard testimony from witnesses to the shooting, as well as testimony from the surgeon who treated Edgeston's injuries. Edgeston and Patterson both testified.

         ¶4. Edgeston testified that he had known Patterson for approximately a year and half prior to the shooting. According to Edgeston, the two men started out as friends, but then "things went . . . sour." Edgeston explained that he and Patterson had disagreements regarding their work at Sonic, and they both were eventually fired. Edgeston testified that after he and Patterson were fired, his situation with Patterson escalated-Patterson began threatening to kill him and even pulled a gun on him. Edgeston also testified about two incidents that occurred prior to the shooting: one when Patterson saw Edgeston drive past him and Patterson fired a gunshot in the air, and another one at a child's birthday party where Patterson pulled a gun on Edgeston, held it to his face, and threatened to kill him. Edgeston also testified that he reported Patterson's threats to a police officer.

         ¶5. Regarding the events surrounding the shooting, Edgeston testified that on the afternoon of April 15, 2016, he was visiting with a friend about some CDs. Edgeston saw Patterson walking toward him with a gun, and Patterson started firing at Edgeston. Edgeston testified that Patterson pointed the gun "directly" at him, and Edgeston ran to get away from Patterson. Edgeston stated that he spotted a car across the street with the door open, so he ran to the car for cover. Edgeston got on his knees behind the car door and asked Patterson why he was shooting at him. Edgeston stated that Patterson then "smacked [him] in the back of the head" and the gun went off, firing a shot. Patterson then stood over Edgeston while Edgeston "begged for [his] life." Edgeston testified that while he was on the ground, Patterson then fired another shot toward his head. Edgeston testified that during the incident, he was unarmed. He further testified that he did not even own a gun.

         ¶6. Tyesha Gunn, Patterson's cousin, [2] testified that around 3 p.m. on April 15, 2016, she and her sister, Zharia Cobbs, and their friends Latonya Holland and a man named Evoris, were driving around town. Gunn saw Patterson walking toward "the projects." Patterson flagged Gunn down and asked to ride with her. Patterson entered the vehicle and said "drive and then I'll let you know when I'll get out." Gunn testified that she could tell that Patterson was drunk. Gunn stated that she let Patterson out of the vehicle "close to the projects on Mitchell Street." She observed Patterson pull out a gun and walk toward a house. Gunn testified that she did not know that Patterson had a gun with him until she saw him pull it out after he exited her vehicle. Gunn testified that she also saw Edgeston on the street. Accordingly to Gunn, Patterson fired multiple gunshots in Edgeston's direction. Gunn explained, however, that although Patterson fired the shots toward Edgeston, he did not aim "like he was trying to shoot him"; rather, like he was trying to get Edgeston's attention. Gunn testified that Edgeston looked scared and started running. Gunn testified that Cobbs and Holland tried to stop Patterson and pull him back into the vehicle, but they were unsuccessful.

         ¶7. Gunn testified that Edgeston ran and hid next to a car, and then he got down on his knees on the ground. Gunn stated that she did not ever see Edgeston with a gun. Gunn recounted that Patterson then stood over Edgeston and "shot him a couple of times." Gunn later explained that although she heard the gunshots and saw Patterson standing over Edgeston, she did not actually see Patterson shoot Edgeston. Gunn also stated that she did not witness Patterson strike Edgeston with the gun.

         ¶8. Officer Timothy Boggs testified that on April 15, 2016, he was working for the Corinth Police Department and received a radio call regarding a shooting on Mitchell Street. Boggs responded to the call and was the first police officer on the scene. Officer Boggs testified that when he arrived at the scene of the shooting, he observed a man helping a second man get inside of a vehicle. Boggs described the second man as "bloody from head to toe," and he observed that the second man appeared to be bleeding from his head. Officer Boggs approached the two men to find out what happened. The first man told him "I've got to take [the second man] to the hospital. I've got to get him to the hospital." Officer Boggs called his dispatcher, reported the tag number of the vehicle carrying the bloody man, and informed the dispatcher that the vehicle was heading to the hospital. Officer Boggs testified that he next secured the crime scene. At the scene, he observed blood on the ground, along with a cup and a magazine from a gun.

         ¶9. Detective Jerry Rogers of the Corinth Police Department also responded to the call about the shooting. Detective Rogers testified that by the time he arrived, Officer Boggs had already secured the area and taped off the crime scene. Detective Rogers testified that he observed blood on the driveway and a magazine from a handgun, as well as a .40 caliber live round on the driveway.

         ¶10. Investigator Heather Russell of the Corinth Police Department testified that she interviewed approximately five witnesses at the crime scene, including Cotanga Franklin, who witnessed the entire event. The witnesses informed Investigator Russell that they heard multiple gunshots, and they identified Patterson as the shooter. Investigator Russell ...

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