OF JUDGMENT: 03/03/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL HON. JAMES SETH ANDREW POUNDS,
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: WILLIAM C. STENNETT
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JASON L. DAVIS ABBIE EASON KOONCE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: J. TRENT KELLY
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND GREENLEE, JJ.
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
Patterson was indicted for the attempted murder 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tyesha Gunn, Patterson's cousin,  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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...