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Keith v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 10, 2019

LABRANDON KEITH GRACE A/K/A LABRANDON GRACE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/26/2018

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: KEMPER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. CHARLES W. WRIGHT JR.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES ERIN ELIZABETH BRIGGS

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES ERIN ELIZABETH BRIGGS

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BILBO MITCHELL

          BEFORE CARLTON, P.J., GREENLEE AND McCARTY, JJ.

          MCCARTY, J.

         ¶1. LaBrandon Grace appeals his convictions of armed robbery and felon in possession of a firearm. He raises two issues: (1) the trial court erred in admitting out-of-court identification testimony, and (2) his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to request a circumstantial-evidence jury instruction. Finding no merit, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. The Citizens Bank in Scooba, Mississippi, had been robbed. Shortly before, Grace and his nephew, Christopher, [1] had been seen outside the bank lounging in a teal Lincoln vehicle parked underneath a shade tree. A series of local tips led the police to believe the duo was responsible for the crime. Police found the teal Lincoln cruising down the highway shortly after the bank robbery. After a burst of high pursuit and a chase on foot, Grace and his nephew were arrested.

         ¶3. Items purportedly used during the commission of the robbery-a blue latex glove and a mask made from a pair of leggings-were found in and around Grace's car. DNA found on both items was consistent with Grace's DNA. The gun used in the commission of the robbery and the money stolen from the bank were recovered from a field in the area where Grace was captured.

         ¶4. Law enforcement showed one bank teller a photograph of Grace and another bank teller photographs of Grace and his nephew. Both tellers recognized Grace because he had entered the bank the day before the robbery and inquired about opening a bank account. Since Grace was disguised during the robbery, the tellers could not identify him as the individual who robbed the bank. The teller who was shown the photograph of Grace's nephew was unable to identify him.

         ¶5. A jury convicted Grace of two counts of armed robbery and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced as a non-violent habitual offender to life imprisonment on both armed robbery convictions and to ten years on the felon-in-possession conviction, with all the ...


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