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Ford v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 4, 2019

DAROSKY DERRELL FORD A/K/A DAROSKY FORD APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/16/2018

          SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. RICHARD W. MCKENZIE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: MOLLIE MARIE McMILLIN

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: STEVEN SIMEON KILGORE

         EN BANC.

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. A jury in the Scott County Circuit Court convicted Darosky Ford of two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and the court sentenced him, as a habitual offender, to serve ten years for each count in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). The court ordered that Ford's sentences be served consecutively and that he pay all court costs. Subsequently, Ford appealed, claiming that (1) his statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy trial were violated, and (2) the verdicts are against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On December 2, 2015, Ford was indicted for kidnapping and four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The indictment alleged that on or about March 28, 2015, Ford (a convicted felon) kidnapped Mardess Toney and possessed a DPMS-A-15 assault rifle, a Mossberg .270-caliber rifle, a Rossi .38-caliber handgun, and a Rock Island. 38-caliber handgun.

         ¶3. At trial, Toney testified that around 7:00 p.m. on March 27, 2015, she met Ford at his uncle's house in Homewood, Mississippi. Ford and Toney had dated on and off for approximately seven and a half years. But that night, they planned on discussing moving in together.

         ¶4. Ford and Toney drove to the Apple Tree Inn in Forrest, Mississippi, and paid for a motel room. Then they went to Pizza Hut for dinner. Afterward, they returned to the motel, had sex, and according to Toney, Ford smoked some methamphetamine. Toney testified that sometime around midnight, Ford accused her of cheating on him. And according to Toney, Ford hit and kicked her, choked her with a belt, and then hogtied her with her shoelaces.[1]

         ¶5. To distract Ford, Toney told him that some of their coworkers were trying to kill him. Then Ford called Aquarius Lindsey, [2] so that she could come to the motel and listen to what Toney was saying. Toney testified that when Lindsey arrived around 4:30 a.m., Ford told Lindsey to get her (Toney's) Rock Island .38-caliber handgun from the passenger door of his vehicle. According to Toney, Ford tried to shoot her in the head two or three times, but the gun would not fire.

         ¶6. Eventually, Ford untied Toney. And around 7:30 a.m. or 8:00 a.m., the three left the motel together. Toney testified that Ford put the gun in his lap and drove her and Lindsey to his father's house in Midway, Mississippi. According to Toney, Ford asked his father where he kept his guns. But Ford's father refused to tell him. So Ford searched the house and retrieved a DPMS-A-15 assault rifle, a Mossberg .270-caliber rifle, [3] and a Rossi .38-caliber handgun. Then Ford put the guns in his vehicle.

         ¶7. Toney testified that Ford then drove her and Lindsey to his uncle's house and parked in a wooded area. Ford called his family to tell them that some of his coworkers wanted to kill him. But Ford's family told him that the police were looking for him. So, according to Toney, Ford buried the guns in the woods. And around 1:00 p.m., they went to the police station so Ford could turn himself in.

         ¶8. Tim Rigby, an investigator with the Forest Police Department, testified that Ford was taken into custody and that Toney gave a statement. Afterward, he went to the Apple Tree Inn, where he found a bag containing other small bags, a shirt, shoelaces, and a belt. Investigator Rigby also testified that on April 6, 2015, Ford waived his Miranda[4] rights and stated: "I didn't kidnap that girl, but I choked the f[***] out of her."

         ¶9. Investigator Jody Stewart, with the Scott County Sheriff's Department, testified that after Toney gave her statement, he went to Ford's uncle's house and found a DPMS A-15 assault rifle in the woods. He testified that he continued to search the area, but eventually had to leave. When he returned to the wooded area two days later, he found a Mossberg .270-caliber rifle, a Rock Island .38-caliber handgun, and a Rossi .38-caliber handgun. Investigator Stewart testified that the guns were not buried together and that the guns had varying degrees of rust on them.

         ¶10. Jamie Bush, with the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory, examined the guns for fingerprints. Bush testified that he did not find any latent prints of value on either of the .38-caliber handguns. He explained that any prints may have been affected by environmental conditions. Bush testified that he found one latent print of value on the Mossberg .270-caliber rifle; however, the print did not match Ford's fingerprints. Finally, Bush testified that he found several latent prints of value on the magazine that was attached to the assault rifle. And four of the prints matched Ford's fingerprints.

         ¶11. Prior to resting its case-in-chief, the State presented evidence that Ford had ...


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