Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnsey v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 22, 2019

JACOB PERRY JOHNSEY APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/10/2018

          LEAKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CHRISTOPHER A. COLLINS TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK PHILLIP W. BROADHEAD

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: MATTHEW W. WALTON

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: STEVEN SIMEON KILGORE

          BEFORE GREENLEE, P.J., WESTBROOKS AND LAWRENCE, JJ.

          LAWRENCE, J.

         ¶1. A Leake County jury found Jacob Johnsey guilty of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. As a result of his conviction, Johnsey was sentenced to serve seven years as a habitual offender pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2018). Johnsey now appeals and claims that the circuit court violated his constitutional right to assert his own defense theory and to have the jury properly instructed. We affirm the circuit court's finding that Johnsey was not entitled to a lesser-included offense instruction on trespass and affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. The facts leading up to Johnsey's conviction are simple. Danny Freeny owned a home and property located at 4198 Dossville Road in Leake County, Mississippi. The home previously belonged to Danny's mother-in-law. Danny kept cows on the property, so he made a point to visit the property twice a week. On December 20, 2014, Danny went to check on the property. The home should have been vacant, because no one lived there. This time, however, instead of merely finding his cows, Danny also found an unfamiliar black Cadillac under the carport.

         ¶3. Danny parked his tractor behind the Cadillac to block it in. He noticed a person named Tasha Vickers "slouched down" in the front passenger's seat. Danny did not know Tasha. As Tasha pressed the horn of the Cadillac, Danny saw Johnsey exit the home's utility room. Danny testified that Johnsey said he was "looking for so and so" and that Danny said he was going to call 911. Suddenly, Tasha's brother Troy ran from the utility room and jumped into the Cadillac through an open window. Johnsey got into the vehicle and drove away. Danny gave chase on the tractor and actually hit the Cadillac with his tractor. Johnsey, Tasha, and Troy all managed to get away, and Danny called 911.

         ¶4. Deputy Vince Carter with the Leake County Sheriff's Department arrived shortly thereafter. As he was investigating, Deputy Carter and Danny both noticed the doorframe to the home was damaged. Deputy Carter testified that the damage appeared to be from "some type of object [used] to pry the utility door open." Marilyn Freeny, Danny's wife, testified that inside the home she noticed that the dresser drawers and some of the cabinets were open. There were also drawers in the kitchen that were open and appeared to have been "rummaged" through. Both Marilyn and Danny testified that these drawers and cabinets were never left open. Deputy Carter testified that the appearance of the drawers and cabinets made it seem like someone was "looking for something."

         ¶5. Johnsey was arrested after Danny provided his license plate number to police. Deputy Carter testified that the license plate number showed that the Cadillac was registered to Johnsey. Johnsey admitted being at the home on December 20, 2014, and admitted to trespassing. However, he claimed that he was never inside the home and had never met Danny. Johnsey's version of events was that he and Troy were merely asking for directions because they were not from the Leake County area. Johnsey testified that the utility-room door was open but that neither he nor Troy opened the door.

         ¶6. At trial, the defense proposed Jury Instruction D-7, which was a lesser-included offense instruction on trespass. The State objected and argued that the jury could not find that Johnsey was trespassing because "he had no knowledge that he was not allowed on the property" and that "[t]here has been no testimony that would support a finding of trespass under the laws of trespass." The circuit court refused the instruction because "[t]here [was] an element that [was] not in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.