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Booker v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 4, 2018

JUSTIN BOOKER APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/12/2017

          COAHOMA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CHARLES E. WEBSTER JUDGE:

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

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LISA L. BLOUNT

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BRENDA FAY MITCHELL

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND FAIR, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. A Coahoma County grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Justin Booker with one count of conspiracy to commit the crime of robbery and one count of capital murder stemming from the death of Davis Goon. After a trial held in September 2017, the trial court declared a mistrial as to the capital murder charge because the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict, but the jury did find Booker guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial court sentenced Booker to serve five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC).

         ¶2. Booker now appeals his conviction and sentence. Booker's counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Lindsey v. State, 939 So.2d 743 (Miss. 2005). His counsel states he has searched the record but was unable to find any arguable issues for appellate review. Booker was provided the opportunity to file a pro se brief, but he failed to do so. Finding no error, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶3. On the night of December 26, 2013, Davis was shot and killed during a robbery in the grocery store he owned, Goon's Grocery.[1] The grand jury jointly charged Booker, Cedric Collins, and DeSean Shields with one count of conspiracy to commit the crime of robbery and one count of capital murder in relation to Davis's death. Booker filed a pretrial motion for severance of his trial from that of his codefendants, and the trial court granted the motion.

         ¶4. At Booker's trial, which was held in September 2017, [2] the jury heard testimony from Luther Lampkin, who testified that at about 6:45 p.m. on December 26, 2013, he was grilling food outside of his restaurant when he heard a door slam at Goon's Grocery. Luther explained that the grocery store was located nearby and within eyesight. Luther saw an individual wearing a hat come out of the grocery store and run east toward the railroad tracks. Luther heard a second slam and saw two more individuals exit the grocery store, followed by Davis. Luther testified that he could not tell what kind of clothing any of the men were wearing. Luther stated that right after the two individuals exited the store, he heard gunshots and he saw Davis fall. Luther testified that when he heard the gun shots, he observed that the second of the two individuals had his arm "extended back toward [Davis]." Luther stated that like the first person who ran out of the store, the other two individuals also ran east toward the railroad tracks and around the corner.

         ¶5. Luther told the jury that he ran over to Davis, who was lying on his back, unresponsive. Davis's sister and father came outside from the package store next door, and Luther told them to call 911. Luther testified that he saw a gun laying on the ground beside Davis.

         ¶6. Davis's sister, Debbie Goon, testified that on the evening of December 26, 2013, she and her father were in Goon's Package Store, which was located next to the grocery store. Debbie testified that she and her father heard gunshots, and they went outside to check on Davis. Debbie testified that as she prepared to walk out of the package store, she saw someone wearing a "grayish white hood[ie]" walk past the store. Once outside, Debbie saw Luther kneeling down by Davis, who was lying unresponsive on the sidewalk outside of the front door of the grocery store. Debbie saw a gun on the ground next to Davis, and she testified that her father picked up the gun and placed it on the counter of the grocery store. Debbie identified the gun found on the ground next to Davis as Davis's gun. According to Debbie, Luther instructed her to call 911. Debbie entered the grocery store and called 911, and she noticed at that ...


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