KELTON K. HATHORNE A/K/A KELTON K. HATHORNE SR. A/K/A KELTON KESHAWN HATHORNE A/K/A KELTON HATHORNE APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/30/2017
FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JON MARK WEATHERS 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: PATRICIA A. THOMAS BURCHELL
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND GREENLEE, JJ.
Kelton K. Hathorne was convicted of possession of a
controlled substance (ethylone) in excess of thirty grams.
Pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section
41-29-139(f)(2)(C) (Rev. 2013), the Forrest County Circuit
Court sentenced Hathorne to thirty years in the custody of
the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with ten years
suspended, twenty years to serve, and five years of
post-release supervision. Hathorne filed posttrial motions,
which the trial court denied. Hathorne now appeals, asserting
that (1) the indictment was defective, and (2) his conviction
was legally insufficient or against the overwhelming weight
of the evidence.
On November 7, 2015, Officer Jason Jarvis witnessed a black
Dodge Charger run a red light at an intersection in
Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Officer Jarvis initiated a traffic
stop, and the driver stopped the car in a motel parking lot.
As Officer Jarvis approached the car, he noticed two
occupants. But, the driver then sped the car away, ultimately
stopping behind the motel. Officer Jarvis followed in his
patrol car and witnessed a man exit the driver's side of
the car. Officer Jarvis testified that he followed this man,
later identified as Hathorne, through the parking lot and up
one flight of stairs. Hathorne then jumped over the railing
and landed in a flower bed. Officer Jarvis saw another
officer, Brad Nix, apprehend Hathorne. While assisting
Officer Nix move Hathorne to the patrol car, Officer Jarvis
saw the passenger in the car move to the driver's seat
and begin to drive the car in reverse. After quickly
searching Hathorne for a weapon, Officer Jarvis placed
Hathorne in Officer Nix's patrol car and then apprehended
the other occupant. The other occupant rode to the police
station in Officer Jarvis's patrol car.
At the police station, Officer Jarvis searched Hathorne and
found $890 in his pocket. Officer Nix, who had transported
Hathorne to the police station, checked the back seat after
removing Hathorne and found a Crown Royal bag containing
marijuana, Xanax, two counterfeit twenty-dollar bills, and a
white, rock-like substance later identified as ethylone. The
bag had been stuffed under the back seat. Officer Nix
testified that the back seat of the patrol car could be
lifted up in one piece and that prior occupants handcuffed in
the same manner as Hathorne have stuffed drugs under the seat
while being transported. Officer Nix also stated that he
routinely checks this particular area of his patrol car as a
result. He further testified that no one else had been in the
back seat of his patrol car that day.
Officer Jarvis testified that he conducted a field test on
the white substance, and it tested positive for
Grady Downey, a forensic scientist who works as a drug
analyst for the state, tested the drug and identified it as
31.959 grams of ethylone, commonly known as bath salts.
Downey stated that ethylone is a "psychotropic stimulant
drug" in the class of amphetamines ...