Chinn v. State, No. 47209

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtSUGG; GILLESPIE
Citation276 So.2d 456
Docket NumberNo. 47209
Decision Date09 April 1973
PartiesC. O. CHINN v. STATE of Mississippi.

Page 456

276 So.2d 456
C. O. CHINN
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 47209.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
April 9, 1973.
Rehearing Denied April 27, 1973.

Page 457

Anderson, Banks, Nichols & Leventhal, Jackson, for appellant.

A. F. Summer, Atty. Gen., by Wayne Snuggs, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

SUGG, Justice:

On the first appeal in Chinn v. State, 248 So.2d 801 (Miss.1971), the conviction of appellant for the crime of manslaughter was reversed because of discrimination in the selection of jurors serving on grand and petit juries at the time of his first conviction.

Pursuant to the remand appellant was indicted at the September, 1971, term of the Circuit Court of Madison County, Mississippi, for the crime of manslaughter, and after a second trial was convicted and sentenced to a 20 year term in the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

About five minutes after receiving a report of a shooting, Canton policemen found the deceased, Vernon Ricks, Gasping for breath and bleeding profusely in an alley near the front of a cafe in Canton, Mississippi. In Ricks' hand was clutched a cocked pistol holding one live and four empty cartridges. The live round in Ricks' pistol was at the bottom of the cylinder and it would have been necessary for Ricks to snap the pistol three times before the live round could be fired. Upon examination of the pistol at the time of police officers it was shown that the pistol of deceased was cold and had no power scent indicating that it had not been fired recently.

Royce Fields, a 16-year-old witness for the State, testified that he was seated on the brick wall of a flower planter in front of Bessie's Cafe and noticed the deceased came out of the Starlite Cafe, walk along the sidewalk south toward Bessie's Cafe. There were three other persons seated on the flower planter with the witness, and Bessie, the owner of the cafe, was standing on the sidewalk in front of the cafe. According to this witness, appellant came out of the Starlite Cafe and called to decedent, 'Breeland, your mama's like a bat out of hell.' The witness testified that

Page 458

Breeland did nothing but that appellant fired a shot. As soon as the first shot was fired the witness ran toward the door of the cafe which was on his right and to the north of him. While running into the cafe he heard the appellant shoot more than once. At the time the first shot was fired deceased was near the south end of Bessie's Cafe and the witness was located between appellant and deceased. Eugene Pullen and the wife of appellant, witnesses for appellant, both testified that the deceased fired the first, shot and after the first shot was fired, appellant secured a gun from the glove compartment of his car and returned the fire of deceased. Appellant fired enough shots to empty his pistol, got in his car and drove away. The appellant testified in his own behalf and stated that he fired in self defense after having first been fired at by the deceased.

Willie Lee Coleman was in the Starlite Cafe about 8:30 p.m. and testified about an argument between appellant and deceased and stated that he heard the deceased threaten to kill appellant and was a gun on the deceased. Joe Nathan Small was called as a rebuttal witness by the State and testified that he was working in the Starlite Cafe on the night of the shooting; that he heard an argument between appellant and deceased but did not hear deceased threaten appellant. He asked deceased to leave so there would not be any trouble in the cafe and deceased left as requested. This witness did not see the pistol in the pocket of deceased.

Appellant's first assignment of error is that the State failed to prove corpus delicti. Appellant bases his argument on the fact that none of the witnesses actually saw the deceased hit by a bullet; that the State introduced both the gun of appellant and appellee but did not prove the one belonging to appellant fired the fatal shot; and, that the State's testimony did not rule out the possibility that deceased was killed by a ricochet or that his own pistol was mishandled so that in some manner the fatal shot might have come from the pistol of the deceased.

The State, by the testimony of Dr. John Russell Durfey, established the fact that the deceased died as a result of a gunshot wound which entered his chest and introduced the bullet which was removed from the abdomen of the deceased by the doctor.

This Court has repeatedly held that the burden is on the prosecution to establish the corpus delicti in homicide cases and that corpus delicti consists of two essential elements; first, the State must show that the alleged deceased is, in fact, dead and, second, that he died as a result of a criminal agency. See Gilleylen v. State, 255 So.2d 661 (Miss.1971); Rhone v. State,254 So.2d 750 (Miss.1971); Elliott v. State, 183 So.2d 805 (Miss.1966); King v. State, 251 Miss. 161, 168 So.2d 637 (1964).

In Marvin Sexton v. State of Mississippi, 274 So.2d 658, decided March 12, 1973, this Court stated:

We said in Elliott that 'The first element was proven in this case without question. The second element may be proven by circumstantial evidence and by reasonable inferences to be drawn from the evidence.' 183 So.2d at 810.

In...

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 practice notes
  • Tolbert v. State, No. 56850
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 12, 1987
    ...718, 720 (Miss.1980); Cork v. State, 292 So.2d 164, 166 (Miss.1974); Burge v. State, 282 So.2d 223, 226 (Miss.1973); Chinn v. State, 276 So.2d 456, 460 (Miss.1973); Fabian v. State, 267 So.2d 294, 296 (Miss.1972); Pitts v. State, 257 So.2d 521, 522-23 (Miss.1972); Moore v. State, 237 So.2d ......
  • Duke v. Whatley, No. 89-CA-1320
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • May 8, 1991
    ...than a memorandum of intent. Therefore, the contract of July 12, 1971 is too indefinite upon essential terms to be enforced. Etheridge, 276 So.2d at 456. Turning now to the facts at bar, we are compelled to draw the same conclusion. Without some written evidence of purchase price or a metho......
  • White v. State, No. 48132
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 20, 1975
    ...are: (1) that the alleged deceased is, in fact, dead; and (2) that the deceased died as a result of a criminal agency. Chinn v. State, 276 So.2d 456 (Miss.1973); Rhone v. State, 254 So.2d 750 (Miss.1971); Elliott v. State, 183 So.2d 805 (Miss.1966). We are not concerned with the second elem......
  • Young v. State, No. 53586
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 29, 1982
    ...a comment on a fact not in evidence or an intimation that the district attorney had personal knowledge of the case. In Chinn v. State, 276 So.2d 456, 459 (Miss.1973), we It has long been the rule that this Court recognizes the right and duty of an attorney to deduce and argue reasonable con......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Tolbert v. State, No. 56850
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 12, 1987
    ...718, 720 (Miss.1980); Cork v. State, 292 So.2d 164, 166 (Miss.1974); Burge v. State, 282 So.2d 223, 226 (Miss.1973); Chinn v. State, 276 So.2d 456, 460 (Miss.1973); Fabian v. State, 267 So.2d 294, 296 (Miss.1972); Pitts v. State, 257 So.2d 521, 522-23 (Miss.1972); Moore v. State, 237 So.2d ......
  • Duke v. Whatley, No. 89-CA-1320
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • May 8, 1991
    ...than a memorandum of intent. Therefore, the contract of July 12, 1971 is too indefinite upon essential terms to be enforced. Etheridge, 276 So.2d at 456. Turning now to the facts at bar, we are compelled to draw the same conclusion. Without some written evidence of purchase price or a metho......
  • White v. State, No. 48132
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 20, 1975
    ...are: (1) that the alleged deceased is, in fact, dead; and (2) that the deceased died as a result of a criminal agency. Chinn v. State, 276 So.2d 456 (Miss.1973); Rhone v. State, 254 So.2d 750 (Miss.1971); Elliott v. State, 183 So.2d 805 (Miss.1966). We are not concerned with the second elem......
  • Young v. State, No. 53586
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 29, 1982
    ...a comment on a fact not in evidence or an intimation that the district attorney had personal knowledge of the case. In Chinn v. State, 276 So.2d 456, 459 (Miss.1973), we It has long been the rule that this Court recognizes the right and duty of an attorney to deduce and argue reasonable con......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT