OF JUDGMENT: 06/02/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN, III
COURT ATTORNEYS: MICHAEL GUEST MARLIN A. MILLER WILLIAM ANDY
SUMRALL THOMAS P. WELCH, JR.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LAURA
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: MICHAEL GUEST
RANDOLPH, PRESIDING JUSTICE.
Richard Lamar Green ("Green") was convicted in the
Circuit Court of Rankin County for the attempted murder and
kidnapping of his wife, Cathleen Green ("Cathy").
Green appeals his convictions, arguing that the State
presented insufficient evidence to convict him of both
counts. The Court finds that a reasonable juror could have
found that the State had proved, beyond a reasonable doubt,
each element of both convictions based on the testimony,
evidence, and applicable law. We affirm Green's
convictions and sentences.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Green and Cathy had been arguing for a few days. Cathy wanted
a divorce because she was ready to be with someone else.
Green found Cathy's phone and demanded that she unlock
it, but she refused. Green became so agitated by Cathy's
refusal that he walked outside and retrieved a machete from
the toolbox of his vehicle. He then walked back inside and
into the bedroom where Cathy and their four-year-old son were
watching cartoons. Green removed Cathy from her bed,
separating her from their child. Cathy threw her phone to the
child and told him to call 911. Green dragged Cathy out of
the bedroom and away from her son. He then forcibly dragged
her down the hall, leaving bruises up and down her arms.
Cathy was kicking and flailing as she tried to free herself
from Green's grip, but he would not release her.
Upon reaching the living room (and out of their child's
sight), Green repeatedly struck Cathy in the head with the
machete. She tried to defend herself and received defensive
wounds in the process. Cathy was screaming, asking Green,
"stop, stop, what are you doing?" Green told Cathy,
"I'm going to kill you with this machete." She
was rendered helpless on the living room floor. When Green
came back past her, Green told their son, "don't
look at mommy." Cathy began pleading for her life. She
told Green, "I'm your wife. What have you done? I
have kids. I only have so much time. I only have so much
blood. You've got to do something now that you've
done this." Green just looked at her, put his head in
his hands and said, "I'm going to have to kill
myself now." Cathy was left motionless, grew cold, and
her bowels emptied. Green walked over her and out the front
door, locking the door behind him. He also took all the cell
phones from the house. Then, son in tow, he fled. Instead of
killing himself, Green called 911 to report what he had done
The first officer to arrive was able to see Cathy lying on
the floor behind the locked door. Other officers arrived to
the scene and broke the window to enter. Cathy's face was
covered in blood. Blood spatters covered the walls and a
large amount of blood surrounded Cathy. Cathy's right
pinky finger had been severed and was lying to the left side
of her body. The officer testified that seeing all of her
wounds was difficult because of the excessive blood, but that
he could see that she had one laceration on her forehead and
another behind her head. He also observed hair and brain
matter on the floor around her.
Cathy was in and out of consciousness. She was able to tell
the officers that "Richie" had caused the injuries
with a machete, and that he had left with their son. The
Pearl Police Department issued a county-wide
be-on-the-lookout ("BOLO") notice for Green's
vehicle, and a state-wide BOLO was dispatched. An
investigator arrived, took photographs, and collected blood
samples. He also observed pools of blood, hair, and brain
matter on the carpet.
Green later was apprehended in Pike County and returned to
the Pearl police station. Green was read his Miranda
rights, which he, orally and in writing, agreed to waive.
Green then confessed. The confession was recorded and played
for the jury at trial. Cathy testified live. Her testimony
corroborated Green's confession.
Cathy was hospitalized for one week and then was transferred
to a rehabilitation center for four weeks. Cathy's skull
was shattered, and part of it was missing. The cranium had
been broken in a complex fashion and depressed against her
brain. The inner lining of Cathy's skull was damaged, and
her brain itself had been damaged. She also had brain matter
in her wounds. Cathy received fifty staples on the crown of
her head. Part of her head tissue died. Cathy also had
sustained a cut that extended halfway down her face. Her eye
socket was fractured, and a piece of her nose had been cut
off. Cathy's pinky finger was amputated, and each of the
tendons in one hand had been cut. Her ring finger also was
broken. Cathy sustained cuts down her back and bruises down
her neck and behind her ear.
Green was indicted for the attempted murder and kidnapping of
Cathy. At trial, the law-enforcement officers, 911 operator,
Cathy, and Cathy's treating physician testified. After
the State rested, Green moved for a directed verdict. Green
argued that the State had failed to prove all of the
necessary elements for the charge of attempted murder.
Specifically, Green argued that he had abandoned his attempt
to murder Cathy because he called 911. Additionally, Green
argued that no evidence was produced to support the charge of
kidnapping. Instead, Green argued that what took place was
merely a struggle that proceeded from one room to another.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Green further claimed that
he never restrained Cathy or kept her from leaving. The trial
court denied Green's motion.
The jury found Green guilty, as charged in the indictment, of
attempted murder in Count I and of kidnapping in Count II.
The jury unanimously sentenced Green to life imprisonment on
Count I. The jury was unable to agree on a penalty for Count
II. The trial judge held a sentencing hearing on Count II and
sentenced Green to a term of thirty years to be served
consecutively with the sentence in Count I in the custody of
the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Green filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict
("JNOV"), or alternatively, a motion for a new
trial. Green argued, inter alia, that the verdict
was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence,
reasserting his arguments that he had abandoned any attempt
to murder Cathy and that he had not kidnapped Cathy. The
trial judge denied Green's motion. Aggrieved, Green
Green does not challenge the weight of the evidence. Rather,
Green challenges the sufficiency of the ...