43 So.3d 526 (Miss.App. 2010), 2009-KA-00155-COA, Hughes v. State

Docket Nº:2009-KA-00155-COA.
Citation:43 So.3d 526
Opinion Judge:LEE, P.J.
Party Name:Shae HUGHES, Appellant v. STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.
Attorney:Ernest Tucker Gore, Greenville, attorney for appellant. Office of the Attorney General by Stephanie Breland Wood, attorney for appellee.
Judge Panel:KING, C.J., MYERS, P.J., IRVING, GRIFFIS, BARNES, ISHEE, CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ., CONCUR. ROBERTS, J., SPECIALLY CONCURS WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION JOINED BY GRIFFIS AND MAXWELL, JJ. ROBERTS, J., specially concurring: GRIFFIS AND MAXWELL, JJ., JOIN THIS OPINION.
Case Date:September 07, 2010
Court:Court of Appeals of Mississippi
 
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Page 526

43 So.3d 526 (Miss.App. 2010)

Shae HUGHES, Appellant

v.

STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

No. 2009-KA-00155-COA.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi.

September 7, 2010

Page 527

Ernest Tucker Gore, Greenville, attorney for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Stephanie Breland Wood, attorney for appellee.

EN BANC.

LEE, P.J.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 1. On January 16, 2009, a jury in the Washington County Circuit Court found Shae Hughes guilty of Count I, armed robbery, and Count II, aggravated assault. Hughes was sentenced to serve forty years on the armed-robbery charge and twenty years on the aggravated-assault charge. The trial court ordered the twenty-year sentence to run consecutively to the forty-year sentence, with both sentences served in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The trial court subsequently denied Hughes's post-trial motions.

¶ 2. Hughes now appeals, asserting the following issues: (1) the State failed to prove the crimes charged in the indictment; (2) the trial court erred in failing to grant his motion for a directed verdict; (3) the State failed to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt; and (4) the trial court erred in failing to grant his motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial. As all of Hughes's issues are related, we find it appropriate to address his issues as follows: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient

Page 528

to support the guilty verdict and (2) whether the verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 3. On October 13, 2006, Roscoe McCoy was at a gas station in Leland, Mississippi, and was attempting to find a ride to Greenville, Mississippi. McCoy was told by Nathaniel Winder that he could ride with someone driving a white Grand Am. McCoy got in the back passenger side of the car. McCoy did not know the driver of the car or any of the other passengers. It was later determined that Hughes was the driver of the Grand Am. The other passengers included Hughes's girlfriend, who was seated in the front passenger seat; Terika Cartlidge, who was seated behind Hughes; and Darian Hughes, who was seated in the middle of the backseat.

¶ 4. McCoy testified that at one point during the drive, Hughes stopped the car, opened the door, and grabbed McCoy by his shirt. At the same time, Darian pushed McCoy out of the car. McCoy stated that Hughes then pressed a gun to McCoy's forehead and demanded money. At that point, Darian searched McCoy's pockets and took his shoes. McCoy was able to take approximately twenty dollars, gum, and lip balm from his pocket and keep it in his fist during the altercation. Unable to find any money, McCoy then heard Hughes say, " I'm going to shoot this MF anyway." Hughes then shot McCoy in the chin. After Hughes drove away, McCoy was able to walk to a nearby house where the police and emergency services were contacted. McCoy stayed in the hospital for two weeks and had to undergo several operations. McCoy was able to identify Hughes and Darian after watching security tapes retrieved from the gas station where McCoy got into the white Grand Am.

¶ 5. Cartlidge, who is related to Hughes, testified that when McCoy and Darian began fighting, Hughes stopped the car and pulled both men out of the backseat. Cartlidge stated that she heard a gunshot but could not see what had happened because the car door was closed. However, Cartlidge told the police that she saw Hughes rob and shoot McCoy.

¶ 6. Winder testified that he told McCoy to catch a ride with Hughes. Winder stated that he saw McCoy approach Hughes and show him some cash. Winder thought it looked as if Hughes was asking to be paid for driving McCoy to Greenville.

¶ 7. Officers with the Washington County Sheriff's Department responded to the crime scene. Officer Mack White testified that he followed the trail of blood McCoy had left to the initial crime scene. Officer White found a twenty-dollar bill, a one-dollar bill, and lip balm on the ground.

DISCUSSION

I. SUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE

¶ 8. Hughes argues that the evidence was insufficient to support a guilty verdict. Our standard of review in regard to challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence is well settled. " [T]he critical inquiry is whether the evidence shows ‘ beyond a reasonable doubt that accused committed the act charged, and that he did so under such circumstances that every element of the offense existed[.]’ " Bush v. State, 895 So.2d 836, 843 (¶ 16) (Miss.2005) (citation omitted). If, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to...

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