SHON PIERRE BYRD, JR. A/K/A SHON P. BYRD A/K/A SHON BYRD A/K/A LOCO APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 11/02/2017
LAUDERDALE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LESTER F.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
GEORGE T. HOLMES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BILBO MITCHELL
Shon Pierre Byrd Jr. was indicted for capital murder, armed
robbery, and three counts of credit card fraud in connection
with the death and robbery of an elderly man in the parking
lot of a Meridian grocery store. Byrd's first trial ended
in a mistrial. In Byrd's second trial, the jury
deadlocked on the charge of capital murder but found Byrd
guilty of armed robbery and three counts of credit card
fraud. The court sentenced Byrd to serve forty years for
armed robbery and three years for each count of credit card
fraud, with the sentences to be served consecutively in the
custody of the Department of Corrections.
On appeal, Byrd argues (1) that his second trial was barred
by double jeopardy; (2) that the trial court abused its
discretion by excluding recordings of 911 calls that
allegedly supported his theory of defense; and (3) that the
jury's guilty verdicts were against the overwhelming
weight of the evidence. We find no error and affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On May 11, 2014, eighty-seven-year-old H.L. Putnam was shot
and killed as he sat in his car outside Vowell's
Marketplace in Meridian. Putman was shot three times in the
chest with a 9 mm pistol. Police recovered three spent 9 mm
projectiles and two casings but never found the gun.
Putnam's wallet was also missing.
Putnam had purchased some flowers and groceries from
Vowell's shortly before he was killed. Summer Bowden, a
Vowell's cashier, testified that she noticed a $100 bill
in Putnam's wallet as he checked out. Moments after
Putnam left the store, Bowden heard gunshots and saw someone
running across the parking lot. She did not see any vehicle
at the time she heard the gunshots. At trial, she identified
Shon Byrd as the person she saw running across the
Vowell's parking lot.
Police had previously shown Bowden two photo lineups: one on
the day of the shooting and another four months later. Bowden
identified a possible suspect from the first photo lineup but
did not identify the same man in the second photo lineup.
Instead, in the second photo lineup, she identified Byrd as
the person she saw running across the parking lot. Byrd's
photo had not been included in the first photo lineup.
Despite her initial mistaken identification, Bowden was
confident at trial that Byrd was the person she saw running.
Several other Vowell's employees and customers testified.
One customer said that immediately after the shooting, he saw
a young man running away from the store who appeared to be
carrying something heavy in his pocket. Another customer
testified that he saw a young black man running through the
parking lot after the shooting. A Vowell's employee who
was in the parking lot heard gunshots and then saw a black
man running toward Shumate Road with a gun in his hand. A
woman in the parking lot heard gunshots, and she saw a white
Mercury Marquis moving slowly through the parking lot, but
she could not see the car's occupants. However, none of
these witnesses saw the actual shooting, nor were they able
to identify the person they saw running.
Kirby Clay was in the parking lot on a lunch break at the
time of the shooting. He testified that he heard a
"commotion" and saw a white Mercury Grand Marquis
or Lincoln Crown Victoria near the "commotion." The
car was parked with its driver's door open. Clay saw
someone wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt approaching the car.
Clay ran inside when he heard the shots and did not see the
Jason Dyess was walking out of the store when he heard
gunshots and saw people running. Dyess testified that he saw
a young black man running from the scene wearing a black
shirt and black shorts. He also saw a white car driving
slowly toward the man running from the scene. Dyess left
Vowell's and drove in the same direction as the white
car. He saw the car stopped on Shumate Road and saw one of
the car's doors closing, although he was not able to see
anyone getting in or out of the car. Dyess called 911 and
provided the car's license plate number. He then returned
to the Vowell's parking lot to tell the police what he
Investigator Kevin Boyd determined that the license plate
number provided by Dyess matched a white Grand Marquis
registered to Delphine Pritchard. Boyd and two other
detectives went to Delphine's home, and she told them
that her son DeCarlos Clark had been driving the car that
day. Boyd obtained information that DeCarlos could be found
across the street at Lyndell Pritchard's house, and police
obtained a search warrant for Lyndell's house. Police had
no evidence that Lyndell was involved in the
homicide/robbery. When police went to Lyndell's house,
they found Byrd and Clark, and both were taken in for
While the police were interviewing Byrd and Clark, one
officer noticed that Byrd was wearing an ankle monitor, which
indicated that he might be on probation of some sort. They
later determined that Byrd had been placed on probation by
the Lauderdale County Youth Court. Al Moore, who supervises
youth court probationers for Lauderdale County, testified at
trial, and reports showing the location of Byrd's ankle
monitor between 11 a.m. and 12:59 p.m. and between 1:30 p.m.
and 5:08 p.m. on May 11, 2014, were admitted into evidence.
Moore explained that the monitor transmitted a location
signal every five minutes and was generally accurate within
100 feet. The records indicated that Byrd was in the area of
Vowell's from 12:33 to 12:38 p.m. The records indicated
that Byrd moved from Vowell's toward Delphine's house
between 12:38 p.m. and 12:59 p.m. Finally, the records showed
that Byrd was in the area of the Bonita Lakes Mall around 3
Veronica Ferguson testified that she was at Delphine's
house on May 11, 2014, when Delphine asked her to go get some
bread. Ferguson asked Clark for a ride, and she testified
that Byrd asked to go with them. Ferguson said that Byrd had
been across the street at Lyndell's house. Lyndell was
Ferguson testified that she, Clark, and Byrd drove to
Vowell's, which was about four miles from Delphine's
house. Clark drove the white Mercury Grand Marquis. They did
not discuss any crime on the way to Vowell's, but as they
pulled into the parking lot, Byrd said he saw "a
lick." Ferguson testified that "a lick" meant
"seeing something you want and deciding to get it,"
whether by legal or illegal means. She testified that, at
first, she thought that Byrd was going to steal something
from the store. She denied any prior knowledge that Byrd was
going to commit a specific crime, and she testified that she
told Byrd not to do it. Clark slowed the car, and Byrd got
out before the car came to a complete stop, four or five cars
away from Putnam. Ferguson told Clark to leave or else she
would walk home. Clark drove away, but as they were leaving,
Ferguson heard three or four gunshots. She did not see Byrd
shoot Putnam, and she said that she had not seen Byrd with a
Ferguson testified that when Clark stopped at a stop sign,
Byrd ran up and got back inside the car. Ferguson asked Byrd
if he had killed someone. Byrd replied, "What do you
When Ferguson returned to Delphine's house, she told
Delphine what had happened, and Delphine called the police.
Clark and Byrd soon left Delphine's house in Clark's
car and went to get Lyndell's car, a Chevrolet Impala,
which was out "in the country." Clark and Byrd
returned about half an hour later, this time in Lydnell's
Impala. The ...