OF JUDGMENT: 02/16/2018
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
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.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
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
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.
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.
To distract Ford, Toney told him that some of their coworkers
were trying to kill him. Then Ford called Aquarius Lindsey,
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.
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,  and a Rossi .38-caliber handgun. Then Ford
put the guns in his vehicle.
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.
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 rights and stated: "I didn't
kidnap that girl, but I choked the f[***] out of her."
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.
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
Prior to resting its case-in-chief, the State presented
evidence that Ford had ...