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Kimble v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 18, 2018

RICKARIUS KIMBLE A/K/A RICHARIUS KIMBLE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: BOLIVAR COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LINDA F. COLEMAN

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: HUNTER NOLAN AIKENS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BRENDA FAY MITCHELL

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. A Bolivar County jury found Rickarius Kimble guilty of rape. Kimble was sentenced to serve fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with five years suspended and five years of supervised probation. Kimble appeals, challenging the sufficiency and weight of the evidence and asserting that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm Kimble's conviction and sentence.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶2. On August 29, 2016, a Bolivar County grand jury indicted Kimble for Count One, burglary, in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-17-23 (Rev. 2014), and Count Two, forcible sexual intercourse in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-65(4)(a) (Rev. 2014). Trial commenced on October 10, 2016. After the State's case-in-chief, Kimble moved for a directed verdict, which the trial court denied. At the close of all evidence, Kimble's counsel renewed his motion and requested a peremptory instruction directing a verdict for the defendant for both burglary and rape. The trial court denied the instruction as to both counts. Following trial, the jury found Kimble not guilty of burglary, but guilty of rape. On appeal, Kimble argues that the jury's verdict as to rape was contrary to the sufficiency and weight of the evidence.

         FACTS

         ¶3. In September 2015, Lakeisha Adams was living in a trailer in Benoit, Mississippi, with her son and her boyfriend, Jeremy Franklin. On the night of September 4, Franklin was working out of town, and Adams returned home with her son at approximately 10 p.m. When Adams arrived at her front door, she found herself locked out; her only key went to the doorknob, and someone had locked the deadbolt. Suspecting a break-in, Adams called the police and her stepfather, Sidney Taylor. Taylor arrived first and walked around the trailer, finding Adams's back door unlocked and slightly open. When the police arrived, Adams reported the break-in.

         ¶4. Before she went to bed that night, Adams made sure that all of the doors were locked. She also placed a pair of scissors in her son's bedroom window and a chair under the front doorknob to prevent anyone from entering the trailer. Adams testified that after she fell asleep, she heard a noise, jumped out of bed, and grabbed the loaded gun she kept in her bedroom. Before she was able to look for a possible intruder, Kimble attacked her.

         ¶5. Adams said that Kimble tackled her, grabbed her arm, took her gun away from her, and knocked her through the television stand in her bedroom. Then, he grabbed her around the throat and dragged her to the living room. Adams testified that in the living room, Kimble pointed out that he was wearing all black clothes and blue hospital gloves. Kimble stated, "B****, I came here to do this," and he told Adams to take her underwear off. Adams testified that she was only wearing a shirt and underwear at the time and that she eventually pulled her underwear down after Kimble grabbed her by the hair and pushed her face down on the living-room couch. Adams further testified that she tried to stall for time by asking Kimble whether he had a condom. Kimble produced a condom and made her put it on him. Then, Kimble made her lean over the couch, and he put his penis inside her vagina and allegedly raped her. Adams testified that as Kimble was raping her, the condom came off and Kimble had her put it back on. Kimble resumed the alleged assault, but his penis kept slipping out, so he made Adams lie on her back and forcibly performed oral sex on her. He then made her face the couch but realized the condom had broken. Adams said Kimble laughed and opened some paper towels and tissues, which he used to wipe himself with. He then handed Adams a paper towel, which she wiped herself with.

         ¶6. Adams said that after Kimble raped her, he sat on her furniture and told her, "[N]o face, no case, but you saw my face, so I [have] to kill you." He said "[I]t's either me or . . . you" and "I ain't going to jail." Kimble asked Adams to give him bullets, and when Adams responded that she did not have any, Kimble said "B****, if I go in here and there's no bullets in the drawer, I'm gonna kill you." Adams said Kimble never checked the drawer for bullets.

         ¶7. Kimble supposedly told Adams that a person called "Gingerbread" said a person called Franklin owed a person called "Sambo" money, and Kimble had been sent to kill her. Adams testified that she knew a "Gingerbread" but not a "Sambo." Adams said she offered Kimble money, but he stated, "I don't want your money"; "I supposed to did this s**** and been gone." Kimble then took Adams's phone and called someone. He told Adams the person he spoke with "told him to leave and come back the next day and burn [them] up." Adams asked Kimble if he was going to come back, but he said, "No." Adams said Kimble touched a can of roach spray before he left.

         ¶8. Adams testified that after Kimble left, she got her child, looked for her keys, went to her mother and stepfather's apartment, and called Taylor to open the door. Adams stated that during the assault, her son was in her bedroom screaming but never came out of the bedroom. Adams said that when she drove to her mother and stepfather's apartment, she took her gun with her. She said that she found her gun on her living-room floor.[1] Taylor testified that Adams arrived at his house a little after 6 a.m., and was "crying, hooping and hollering, [with] hair all over her head." Taylor called the police.

         ¶9. Deputies Johnathan Trotter, Michael Honorable, and Youlander Harris, with the Bolivar County Sheriff's Department, responded to the call. Deputy Trotter testified that when he arrived at Taylor's residence, Adams was giving a statement to Deputy Harris. He observed that Adams was "real shaky" and was crying. Adams told the officers that she had been assaulted at her home. Deputy Trotter then called Investigator Michael Williams, who instructed Deputy ...


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