LARRY D. WALDON A/K/A LARRY WALDON A/K/A LARRY WALTON A/K/A LARRY D. WALTON APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 03/21/2017
FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ROBERT B. HELFRICH
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
HUNTER NOLAN AIKENS BENJAMIN A. SUBER GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JEFFREY A. KLINGFUSS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: PATRICIA A. THOMAS BURCHELL
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND FAIR, JJ.
A Forrest County jury found Larry D. Waldon guilty of grand
larceny. The trial court sentenced him, as a habitual
offender, to ten years of incarceration without eligibility
for parole or early release. Finding no error, we affirm.
On November 23, 2015, Geoffrey McGowan drove his 2011 Chevy
Tahoe to a friend's house. While there, he left his
vehicle running in front of the house. When he came out, his
vehicle was missing. He called 9-1-1, and Officer Eric
Mitcham responded. At 8 p.m., Officer Mitcham arrived at 1001
Mamie Street in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where McGowan
indicated he was located. He and McGowan got in touch with
OnStar,  and the service located the vehicle within
fifteen minutes. OnStar was able to control the speed of the
vehicle, and prevent it from going faster than five miles per
hour. After a slow chase by Officer Mitcham and other
officers, the vehicle was stopped, and its driver, Waldon,
On March 20, 2017, after a trial, a jury returned a guilty
verdict, and thereafter he was sentenced. Waldon now appeals.
For the following reasons, we affirm.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
Waldon first asserts that the evidence was insufficient to
support the conviction. Waldon argues that McGowan admitted
lying to the police regarding his actual location, his reason
for being there, and the person whom he was visiting. This
admission, he argues, "casts a strong shadow on
[McGowan's] veracity for the truth," and his
testimony alone should be insufficient. In addition, Waldon
argues, that when questioned, he had explained that he had
rented the vehicle from an individual named David Wilson at
the nearby Wendy's parking lot earlier that day.
Therefore, he argues, the jury should accept his version of
the events over McGowan's testimony.
At trial, McGowan testified that he went to Chase Neil's
house on Mamie Street. McGowan testified that he went there
to purchase marijuana. He stated that he went inside for no
more than five minutes, leaving his vehicle running in the
front of the residence because he was having battery trouble.
He explained that he owned the stolen vehicle, a silver 2011
Chevy Tahoe. He testified that he was embarrassed about the
reason he was at Neil's house, so he informed the police
that he was visiting a friend named "John" at 1001
On cross-examination, McGowan testified that he was on Mamie
Street when the incident occurred but that he did not
remember the exact address. He testified that he initially
told the police that he was at 1001 Mamie Street and later
told the police he was actually on the corner of Hutchinson
and Mamie when the vehicle was stolen. He admitted that when
he first talked to the police that he did not tell them that
he was on Mamie Street to purchase marijuana. He testified
that he made up the alias "John" and the address
1001 Mamie Street to protect his friend.
Officer Mitcham testified that he was working as a patrol
officer for the Hattiesburg Police Department on the evening
of November 23 and was dispatched to 1001 Mamie Street,
arriving around 8 p.m. When he arrived, he spoke with
McGowan. Officer Mitcham explained that he and McGowan called
OnStar, and OnStar was able to locate the vehicle. Officer
Mitcham was advised that the vehicle was going northbound on
Highway 42 and that OnStar had disabled the vehicle so it
could not go over five miles per hour. Officer Mitcham, along
with several other officers, became involved in a slow chase
to recover the vehicle.
Officer Mitcham stated that the driver did not stop even
though officers were giving loud verbal commands over their
PA system, police lights were flashing, and the sirens were
on. Officers followed Waldon for seven or eight miles.
Officer Mitcham then testified that he and Officer Chadra
Daniels drove in front of the vehicle and deployed a spike
strip. Officer Mitcham explained that Lieutenant Mark Denny
then ran up to the vehicle, which then had a flat tire; they
broke the glass, grabbed the steering wheel, and guided the
vehicle into a ditch on the side of the road. Officer Mitcham
identified Waldon as the driver, pointing to him in open
court. Officer Mitcham confirmed there was no other person in
Officer Mitcham continued to testify about the initial
statement McGowan reported-he was at his friend John's
house and that he was only there for about five minutes.
Officer Mitcham explained at trial that he went back to speak
with McGowan approximately an hour after their first meeting
and that McGowan informed him that there was in fact no
friend named "John" and that his friend did not
really live at 1001 Mamie Street, but instead he lived a few
houses down the street near the corner of Mamie and
Hutchinson. Officer Mitcham stated that he never received the
name of the friend but that McGowan admitted he was there to
During his testimony, Officer Mitcham explained that his dash
camera captured footage from the chase. Officer Mitcham also
noted that in his investigation, no one, to his knowledge,
with or without a camera, witnessed the vehicle being stolen.
Detective Tamara Moore was the on-call detective that night
and testified at trial. She arrived where the pursuit ended
on Highway 49 at approximately 9 p.m. Detective Moore spoke
to Waldon, who was then in custody. Waldon waived his
Miranda rights and told Detective Moore that he
rented the vehicle from his friend, David Wilson, in the
Wendy's parking lot ...