RAHIM DIQUAN WILLIAMS A/K/A RAHIM WILLIAMS A/K/A RAHIM D. WILLIAMS A/K/A YP APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 11/03/2017
MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN III
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: HEATHER MARIE ABY
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: MICHAEL GUEST
BARNES, C.J., TINDELL AND McCARTY, JJ.
Rahim Williams was convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary
and sentenced to five years in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (MDOC). He appeals his conviction,
arguing that the verdict was against weight of the evidence.
Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Ashley Brown, Jessica Baugh, and Stephanie Mejia got off work
at Last Call Sports Bar around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, January
10, 2016, and went for drinks at a nearby club. After a
couple of drinks, Brown left and went to her and Baugh's
apartment located at 110 Pine Knoll, Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Baugh and Mejia went to Fairfield Inn to meet up with
friends, including Baugh's male friend, Chris Jones.
Baugh saw Mejia talking with a group of guys-she recognized
one of them as Amonteel Pates. Baugh and Jones went back to
her apartment early that morning and went to sleep. They left
the door unlocked for Mejia because they had invited her to
sleep there rather than drive home. Jones heard a noise, got
up from bed, and saw three men in the living room. He noted
they were holding a purse. When they saw him, they quickly
left. When he woke up Baugh to tell her about the men, she
ignored him, thinking Mejia was entertaining friends.
However, when Brown left to go to work Sunday afternoon, she
noticed that her keys, wallet, and car-an orange Dodge
Charger-were missing. She soon discovered that her debit card
had been used Sunday morning. Baugh's purse was also
missing, including almost $300 in cash. They contacted the
Ridgeland Police Department (RPD) and reported the stolen
items. Baugh later discovered that her iPad mini had been
taken as well.
A blue baseball cap was recovered from the apartment. Jones
told RPD he had seen Pates wearing that hat in a social media
photo. RPD also found video evidence showing Pates buying
Nike tennis shoes using Brown's debit card. Pates was
arrested on Friday, January 15, and the police noticed two
new pairs of Nike shoes inside the front door. Pates admitted
to the officer that he had bought them with the stolen debit
card. During his interview, Pates's story changed several
times. He first claimed that he found the stolen debit card
on the ground near his aunt's home in Jackson. When asked
how his hat ended up in Brown's and Baugh's
apartment, Pates claimed he was set up. Eventually, Pates
told RPD that he and four others-Williams, Fabiyonne Peel,
Jontavian Eubanks, and Michael Tillman-had gone to
Baugh's apartment and taken the credit cards and the car.
The other four were later taken into custody. The iPad mini
was found at Eubanks's home. When questioned by RPD about
the burglary and auto theft, Williams denied involvement and
claimed he had been at his sister's apartment near
Williams, Tillman, Pates, Peel, and Eubanks were indicted for
burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, motor vehicle theft,
and conspiracy to commit theft of a motor vehicle. The State
later moved to amend the indictment to charge Williams as a
habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section
99-19-81 (Rev. 2015). The trials were bifurcated, and
Williams's jury trial was held in Madison County Circuit
Court on October 25-26, 2017.
Detective Adrien Ready testified at trial that the
investigation first led RPD to Pates, who initially told
several different lies regarding how he got the debit cards.
When police went to Eubanks's home, Eubanks and Peel
tried to hide. Detective Ready stated that during
questioning, Williams "said he had nothing to do with
Amonteel Pates . . . and he had absolutely no contact with
him." However, he further noted that cell phone records
showed that Williams and Pates talked with each other
twenty-seven times on the night of the burglary and auto
Tillman, an accomplice and Eubanks's cousin, testified
that he broke into the apartment and took the Dodge Charger.
He said that he and the other four men (Pates, Eubanks, Peel,
and Williams) made plans at the Fairfield Inn to "go get
the bag of money out ...