IRA JOSEPH CLAYTON A/K/A IRA CLAYTON A/K/A IRA J. CLAYTON A/K/A IRA WILSON APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 12/11/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CELESTE EMBREY WILSON TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
ALICIA M. AINSWORTH
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOHN W. CHAMPION
GRIFFIS, P.J., WILSON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Ira Joseph Clayton appeals his conviction of the unlawful
possession of a motor vehicle and argues there is
insufficient evidence to support the conviction and the
verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.
We find no error and affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In March 2017, Clayton moved in with his girlfriend, Rikiesha
Williams, at her apartment in Southaven. Williams owned a
2012 Volkswagen Jetta. Since Clayton did not have a vehicle,
he would use Williams's car.
On the morning of May 26, 2017, Clayton and Williams went to
Memphis for an appointment and subsequently returned to
Southaven. Clayton drove them to and from the appointment in
When they returned home, Clayton and Williams got into a
series of arguments. During the second argument, Williams
told Clayton she no longer wanted to be in the relationship
and asked him to pack his belongings and leave. Clayton began
to pack but subsequently left the apartment and walked to
Williams's aunt's house.
Approximately two to three hours later, Clayton called
Williams and asked her to come pick him up so he could get
the rest of his belongings. Williams agreed. When they
returned to Williams's apartment, Clayton and Williams
got into another argument. During the physical altercation, a
gun discharged and Williams was shot twice, once in her right
leg, and once in her left leg. Williams's phone was also
Following the shooting, Clayton grabbed Williams's car
keys and left the apartment complex in Williams's car.
According to Williams's neighbor, Queen Rice, Clayton ran
out of the apartment to the car, jumped in, and sped off.
Clayton was indicted as a habitual offender pursuant to
Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015) on
Count 1, possession of a weapon as a convicted felon; Count
2, aggravated assault; and Count 3, unlawful possession of a
motor vehicle. Clayton was convicted of Count 3 only. The
jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict as to Count 1,
and found Clayton not guilty on Count 2. Clayton was
sentenced as a habitual offender to serve ten years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, to run
consecutively to any current sentence. He was further ordered
to pay a $1, 000 fine and $503.83 in restitution to the
Southaven Police Department. Clayton subsequently filed a
motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or,
alternatively, a new trial, which the circuit court denied.
Clayton timely appealed. Clayton's appellate counsel
filed a brief and raised the following assignments of error:
(1) the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction of
unlawful possession of a motor vehicle, and (2) the verdict
is contrary to the weight of the evidence. Clayton filed a
pro se ...