VADELL JOHNSON A/K/A VADELL C. JOHNSON APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/15/2017
BOLIVAR COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL
JUDGE: HON. LINDA F. COLEMAN
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: AZKI SHAH
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA L.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BRENDA FAY MITCHELL
J. WILSON, P.J., GREENLEE AND McCARTY, JJ.
Vadell Johnson was convicted of murder, aggravated assault,
and possession of a firearm by a felon after a jury trial in
the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial District of Bolivar
County. Johnson was sentenced to life for his murder
conviction, ten years for his aggravated-assault conviction,
and one year for his felon-in-possession conviction to be
served in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Following the denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal
notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new
trial, Johnson appealed. Johnson asserts that the trial court
erred by denying his post-trial motion because the jury's
verdicts were not supported by sufficient evidence and were
against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. He also
asserts that he was denied a fair trial because several
jurors failed to disclose that they knew the victim(s).
Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Around 1:00 a.m. on July 1, 2010, a shooting occurred at
Fermier's Club in Cleveland, Mississippi. Vadell Johnson
was later arrested and charged with the murder of Scottie
Tutwiler Jr., the aggravated assault of Damien Story, the
aggravated assault of Demonte Cox, and the possession of a
firearm by a felon.
At Johnson's trial, Corvet Robinson testified that she
saw Johnson at the club that night. According to Robinson,
Johnson was her cousin, and he asked her to introduce him to
the rest of her "kinfolk in case some s[***] kick off .
. . in the club." Robinson did not know what Johnson
meant, but she introduced him to a few people and then went
to get a drink from the bar. As Robinson was walking to the
bar, she heard gunshots. But Robinson did not know if Johnson
was the shooter. After the shooting, Robinson saw Tutwiler
outside. Tutwiler had been shot while he was inside the club,
which ultimately caused his death.
Story was also shot that evening. Story testified that when
he arrived at the club, he spoke with Tutwiler and Cox. Then
Robinson introduced him to Johnson, but Story "really
[didn't] pay. . . him no mind." He and Johnson spoke
"for a minute or so," and then Story walked away.
Story testified that after he finished speaking with Johnson,
he was shot in the arm. When Story turned around to see who
shot him, he saw Johnson with a gun in his hand. According to
Story, everyone started running after the gunshot, which
caused him to fall. And then Johnson stood over him and shot
Story admitted that he could not identify the shooter while
he was in the hospital. But he explained that he was on
Morphine and was in a lot of pain at the time. Story
testified that he was shown a photo lineup several days
later, and he identified Johnson as the shooter. At trial,
Story also identified Johnson as the shooter. Although Story
did not see Tutwiler get shot, he testified that Johnson was
the only person he saw with a gun, and he did not hear any
Chief Investigator George Serio with the Cleveland Police
Department testified that, during the investigation, a
witness told him that the shooter had gold teeth. But he
could not recall if Johnson had gold teeth when he was
arrested several days after the shooting. Yet ...