Cochran v. State, 46219

Decision Date08 February 1971
Docket NumberNo. 46219,46219
Citation244 So.2d 22
PartiesRayvon COCHRAN v. STATE of Mississippi.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Harry Kelley, Jackson, Stanford Young, Waynesboro, for appellant.

A. F. Summer, Atty. Gen., by John Kinard, Special Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.


The appellant, Rayvon Cochran, was indicted, tried and convicted in the Circuit Court of Wayne County, Mississippi, of the murder of Irvin Palmer. The jury could not agree on the punishment so the appellant was sentenced by the court to life imprisonment in the State penitentiary.

The fatal encounter occurred about 9:30 p.m. on July 7, 1970. Irvin Palmer died about 2:00 a.m. July 8th from the stab wound in his right chest. The appellant was indicated on July 15, 1970, and a Capias, dated July 14, 1970, returnable on the 2nd Monday of July, 1970 (July 13, 1970), was served on him July 15, 1970. A written motion for continuance, sworn to by Stanford Young, attorney for the defendant, was filed on July 16, 1970. That motion stated under oath that the killing occurred on July 7, 1970; that the defendant was hurt in the affray and could not properly prepare his defense in such a short time; that his attorney, Stanford Young, was involved in a series of hearings in the Federal District Court and had been ordered to appear in that court on Friday, July 17, 1970; that at that hearing he would be ordered to appear on Monday, July 20th, and Friday, July 24, 1970, in Federal District Court, and that 'it will be impossible to prepare a proper defense' for the appellant in such a short time. The oath stated that 'this motion for continuance is not made for the purpose of delay but that justice may be served.'

On July 22, 1970, after a special venire had been summoned at the instance of appellant, another motion for continuance, on the ground of six absent material witnesses two of whom were alleged to be non-residents of the State of Mississippi, was dictated into the record with the court's consent. The appellant stated in his motion that he had just learned that Cliff Hilton was in New Orleans, Louisiana, that he would have a deposition from him at the next term of court, that Hilton would testify that he was an eyewitness and:

'(T)hat he heard the deceased say he was going to cut Ravon's head off, that he would testify that deceased had a knife, that he followed Ravon Cochran into the yard of the M & R Club and did then and there cut Ravon Cochran not in necessary self defense of his life.'

The motion went non to state:

'That Mel G. Brown would testify to the same thing Cliff Hilton would testify, that he is in Alabama, not amenable to process of this court, but we would have his testimony here by deposition at the next term of court.'

The court heard argument on this last motion for continuance and overruled the motion. No action is noted in the record on the sworn written motion for continuance. The case proceeded to trial immediately on the overruling of the motion on July 22, 1970. The jury returned the guilty verdict on July 22, 1970, and the court sentenced the appellant to life imprisonment on July 22, 1970.

The motion for a new trial was sworn to on July 23, 1970, by appellant, Rayvon Cochran, and his attorney, Stanford Young. It was based largely on the ground that the defense simply did not have sufficient time to prepare for trial, that two eyewitnesses, Cliff Hilton and Merrell Brown, whose testimony was vital to the defense, were absent but would be available on a new trial, that all of this was mentioned in the motion for continuance, which motion was erroneously overruled by the court. The affidavit of Merrell Brown was attached to the motion, wherein Brown stated:

'(T)hat I saw the deceased, Irvin Palmer, leaving the M & R Club...

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4 cases
  • Morris v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 27, 1991 murder trial). In support of his argument that failure to grant a continuance was reversible error, Morris cites: Cochran v. State, 244 So.2d 22 (Miss.1971) (defendant entitled to more than one week preparation for trial where pre-set court appearances interfered); Barnes v. State, ......
  • Pitts v. State, No. 2001-KA-01703-COA.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Court of Appeals
    • December 17, 2002
    ...¶ 8. In support of his position, Pitts directs this Court to the cases of Martin v. State, 312 So.2d 5 (Miss.1975) and Cochran v. State, 244 So.2d 22 (Miss.1971). In Martin, it was held that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to grant a continuance when an attorney was appoint......
  • Barnes v. State, 46396
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 7, 1971
    ...and brings our very government into disrepute.' (190 Miss. at 896-897, 2 So.2d at 146) See also: Yates v. State, supra; Cochran v. State, 244 So.2d 22 (Miss.1971). Where the evidence is such as to leave considerable doubt as to whether or not the defendant obtained a fair trial, we will gra......
  • Cochran v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 28, 1973
    ...of Irvin Palmer and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Mississippi State Penitentiary. This conviction was reversed in Cochran v. State, 244 So.2d 22 (Miss.1971), and upon retrial appellant was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to serve a term of 16 years in the Mississippi State P......

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