Arrington v. State, 50877

Decision Date17 January 1979
Docket NumberNo. 50877,50877
PartiesC. G. ARRINGTON v. STATE of Mississippi.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Thomas Gene Clark, Laurel, Charles M. Leggett, Waynesboro, for appellant.

A. F. Summer, Atty. Gen. by Catherine Walker Underwood, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

Before SMITH, P. J., and LEE and COFER, JJ.

LEE, Justice, for the Court:

C. G. Arrington was indicted and tried for murder in the Circuit Court of Wayne County. He was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to ten (10) years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary. From that sentence and judgment he appeals and assigns the following errors in the trial below:

(1) The lower court erred in excluding evidence offered by the defendant relative to the character and reputation of the deceased, together with the record of convictions of the deceased.

(2) The lower court erred in refusing to grant Instruction D-9 requested by the defendant.

On May 5, 1977, about 7:00 p. m., appellant and his wife drove up to the Midway Curb Market, Waynesboro, and appellant went inside, purchased a soft drink and newspaper, and started out. Thomas Mack Sumrall and Robert McMichael, both of whom were employed on an oil rig in Louisiana, had gotten off work, and had come to Waynesboro, where they entered the store. When Sumrall went inside, he apparently blocked the entrance, Arrington grabbed Sumrall around the collar to remove him from the doorway, an altercation ensued, and the two men scuffled back to Arrington's truck which was parked about twenty (20) feet from the store front. Arrington picked up an air pump from the bed of his truck and attempted to strike Sumrall with it. Sumrall was the larger of the two, he took the instrument away from Arrington, and hit Arrington on the head, causing the air pump to break. Arrington indicated that he had enough of the fight and Sumrall turned around, walked away from him and the truck, and started to enter the store again. Arrington got a .22 rifle from his truck and about the time Sumrall reached the front door of the store, Arrington began shooting at him (three (3) empty shell hulls were found at the truck). Sumrall fell and expired, having been struck by one of the bullets, which entered his chest, ranged upward and lodged behind his right shoulder blade.


Did the trial court err in excluding evidence offered by appellant as to the character and reputation of the deceased along with a record of convictions of the deceased?

Appellant complains that the trial court declined to permit him to introduce evidence of deceased's bad reputation for peace or violence in the community in which he lived and declined to permit introduction of deceased's criminal record, which included three (3) convictions for violation of prohibition laws, one for resisting arrest, one for destroying private property, and two for violation of parole.

The appellant claimed self-defense, but at the time he shot Sumrall, appellant was the aggressor. The general rule on self-defense is stated in 40 Am.Jur.2d Homicide § 145, at 434 (1968):

"The fault in bringing on a difficulty which will deprive one of the right of self-defense is not confined to the precise time of the fatal encounter which results, but may include faults so closely connected with the difficulty in time and circumstances as to be fairly regarded as operating to bring it on. A plea of self-defense is of no avail, notwithstanding the deceased

provoked the original quarrel with the accused, where, after that quarrel had ended, and there had been a cessation of the conflict, or the deceased had withdrawn therefrom, a subsequent difficulty was provoked or brought about by the accused. He is to be deemed the aggressor for bringing on or renewing the affray, even though, in so doing, he had no intention of killing or doing serious bodily harm."

For a homicide to be justifiable on the ground of self-defense, the danger to the slayer must either be actual, present and urgent or the slayer must have reasonable grounds to apprehend a design on the part of the deceased to kill him or do him some great bodily harm and, in addition, there must be imminent...

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5 cases
  • McDonald v. State, 58195
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 9, 1989
    ...prior to the adoption of MRE such evidence would have been inadmissible. Berry v. State, 455 So.2d 774, 776 (Miss.1984); Arrington v. State, 366 So.2d 246 (Miss.1979); Shinall, supra; Newsom v. State, 197 Miss. 797, 20 So.2d 708 (Miss.1945); Rich v. State, 124 Miss. 272, 86 So. 770 (1921); ......
  • Fairman v. State, 57118
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • September 16, 1987
    ...reason for denying D-5 was that he felt the theory of self-defense was fully covered in the Robinson instruction. In Arrington v. State, 366 So.2d 246 (Miss.1979), the Court granted a similar instruction absent that part which appears in D-5, supra, and the Court held that the refusal of th......
  • Berry v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • August 22, 1984 limited. Specific acts of violence committed by the deceased are not admissible to show deceased's bad reputation. Arrington v. State, 366 So.2d 246 (Miss.1979); Shinall v. State, 199 So.2d 251 (Miss.1967) and Newsome v. State, 197 Miss. 797, 20 So.2d 708 In the present case the witness ......
  • Booker v. State, 97-KA-00327 COA.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Court of Appeals
    • December 8, 1998
    ...However, the decision is silent as to whether some other form of self-defense instruction may have been given. In the 1979 case of Arrington v. State, the Mississippi Supreme Court was, once again, faced with the situation where the trial court had refused a self-defense instruction of a si......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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