MERLIN KENT WILLIAMS A/K/A MERLIN WILLIAMS A/K/A MARVIN KENT WILLIAMS APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 11/16/2017
HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON.
CHRISTOPHER LOUIS SCHMIDT JUDGE:
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
MOLLIE MARIE McMILLIN
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH
BARNES, C.J., WESTBROOKS AND LAWRENCE, JJ.
Merlin Williams appeals his conviction for one count of
aggravated assault in the Harrison County Circuit Court.
After a jury trial, Williams was convicted and sentenced to
twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections (MDOC) with fifteen years to serve and five years
suspended. Aggrieved, Williams filed a motion for a judgment
notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative, a
motion for a new trial. The circuit court denied
Williams's motion, and he timely appeals.
In July 2016, Eddwena Myles was residing with Fredia Henry at
her home in Gulfport, Mississippi. Myles and Williams had
been dating for approximately four years, and Williams was
spending the night with Myles on the night he stabbed her.
Myles testified that Williams stabbed her in the chest as she
got out of bed to go to the restroom. When she told him that
he stabbed her and it hurt, he responded he knew that. Myles
stated that she reached for the door and Williams stabbed her
again, cutting her arms, and he stated that he must kill her.
When she asked why he was acting this way, Williams stated
that he would receive one million dollars if he killed her.
As a result of the stabbing, Myles had a collapsed lung and
damage to her kidneys and spleen.
At trial, Henry testified that she yelled out for Myles to
open the door and that Williams left the room and then the
house with knife in hand. She stated that she found Myles
slumped over the bed. Williams testified that not only did he
not stab Myles but also that he was not present in the home
when the assault occurred.
After a two-day jury trial, Williams was convicted of
aggravated assault and was sentenced to twenty years in the
custody of the MDOC, with fifteen years to serve and five
years suspended. Subsequently, Williams filed a motion for a
JNOV or a new trial. The circuit court denied his motion, and
he timely appeals.
Williams's appellate counsel filed a
Lindsey brief asserting that there are no issues
warranting appellate review. The Mississippi Supreme Court
has established a procedure "to govern cases where
appellate counsel represents an indigent criminal defendant
and does not believe his or her client's case presents
any arguable issues on appeal." Thomas v.
State, 247 So.3d 1252, ...