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McAlister v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

August 1, 2019

CHEVELLE McALISTER
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/02/2018

          TIPPAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN KELLY LUTHER.

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: BENJAMIN F. CREEKMORE ROBERT M. CARTER PAUL MASON WAGES.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: JUSTIN T. COOK GEORGE T. HOLMES.

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

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BENJAMIN F. CREEKMORE.

          BEFORE RANDOLPH, C.J., COLEMAN AND CHAMBERLIN, JJ.

          CHAMBERLIN, JUSTICE.

         ¶1. A jury convicted Chevelle McAlister of the murder of Johnna Norris and of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. McAlister now appeals his conviction, arguing that his counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel. The record before us does not support a finding of ineffective assistance of counsel. Also, there is no indication from the record or the briefs that an evidentiary hearing would enable McAlister to further develop any evidentiary proof of the alleged errors. Thus, we affirm McAlister's conviction and deny his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On Sunday, March 26, 2017, Chevelle McAlister visited his brother Ernest Morris at a trailer that belonged to Helen Bowling. The two of them, along with Morris's girlfriend, Johnna Norris, started using methamphetamine. After taking Norris's son to school on Monday, the three returned to Morris's trailer, where McAlister and Norris continued using drugs.

         ¶3. During the day, McAlister had been acting strangely, accusing Morris and Norris of trying to frame him. At one point, McAlister put a gun in Morris's face and threatened to shoot him.

         ¶4. Later that evening, around eleven o'clock, McAlister went to the door of Norris's room and shot her with a single shot from a .38 revolver. After he killed Norris, a stand-off took place between Morris and McAlister. McAlister turned his revolver on Morris who, in turn, pointed his .22 rifle at McAlister. Eventually, Morris passed out or fell asleep.

         ¶5. Several hours later, two calls were placed to 911. During the first call, the caller told the dispatcher, "I killed somebody." On both calls, the caller ...


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