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Billups v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 18, 2018

SHAMOR BILLUPS A/K/A SHAMOR L. BILLUPS A/K/A SHAMAR BILLUPS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/22/2016

          LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JAMES T. KITCHENS JR. TRIAL JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: SCOTT WINSTON COLOM

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., WILSON AND TINDELL, JJ.

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. A Lowndes County grand jury indicted Shamor Billups for Count I, felony shoplifting, and Count II, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. See Miss. Code Ann. § 97-23-93 (Rev. 2014); Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-5 (Rev. 2014). A jury acquitted Billups of Count I but convicted him of Count II. On August 22, 2016, the Lowndes County Circuit Court sentenced Billups as a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2014) to ten years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). On August 29, 2016, Billups's attorney filed an unsuccessful motion for a new trial or, in the alternative, a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. On appeal, Billups's initial brief focused on the sufficiency and weight of the evidence, and the actual or constructive element of his crime-possession of a firearm by a felon. A supplemental pro se brief includes a list of other unsupported claims or procedurally barred claims. Finding no error, we affirm Billups's conviction and sentence.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On March 13, 2015, two men approached the gun counter of K and S Outdoors (K&S) in Columbus, Mississippi. One asked to look at a pistol, and the other asked to look at a long gun. The K&S clerk, Chad Fortner, handed one of the men a pistol and the other a Ruger-SR-762 rifle. Both men then attempted to run from the store with the firearms. The man with the rifle successfully fled. Fortner tackled and secured the other man before the man could exit K&S. The stolen rifle was a .308 caliber Ruger-SR-762 rifle with a collapsible stock and a twenty-round magazine that retailed for $1, 699. K&S identified the gun by its serial number.

         ¶3. A video of the March 13, 2015 incident at K&S shows a man wearing a maroon Mississippi State hoodie, camouflage pants, and a toboggan at the K&S gun counter holding a rifle. The video shows that same man, in the same clothes, running out of K&S with a rifle. Chris Berry, a K&S customer, and its manager, Carey Chaffin, also witnessed the man run out the door of K&S carrying a rifle.

         ¶4. Shortly after the events at K&S, Investigator Timothy Jenkins with the Columbus Police Department recovered a maroon Mississippi State hoodie, camouflage pants, and a blue toboggan about a block and a half east of K&S. Investigator Jenkins also interviewed the man who was earlier restrained while attempting to flee K&S.[1]

         ¶5. The investigation led the Columbus police to 20th Street North. Approximately an hour and a half to two hours after the shoplifting incident at K&S, as Columbus police approached 1215 20th Street North, Billups came out of a shed at that address. Columbus police ordered Billups to the ground, and he complied. Investigator Jenkins learned the 1215 20th Street North property was owned by Billups's aunt, Connie Billups. Connie gave Jenkins consent to search her outbuildings. Officer Christopher Benton wore a body camera and participated in Investigator Jenkins's search of the shed Billups was seen leaving. A rifle was found upright in the front corner of the shed covered in a shirt. The shed was otherwise empty except for a bicycle and the stolen rifle. Police later identified the rifle by its serial number as the Ruger-SR-762 rifle taken earlier from K&S.

         STANDARD ...


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