Johnson v. State, No. 39412

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtGILLESPIE
Citation77 So.2d 824,223 Miss. 167
PartiesJames Dewey (J. D.) JOHNSON v. STATE of Mississippi.
Decision Date14 February 1955
Docket NumberNo. 39412

Page 824

77 So.2d 824
223 Miss. 167
James Dewey (J. D.) JOHNSON
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 39412.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
Feb. 14, 1955.

Page 825

[223 MISS 168] Wingo & Finch, Hattiesburg, H. C. Monynihan, Laurel, for appellant.

J. P. Coleman, Atty. Gen., by Joe T. Patterson, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

GILLESPIE, Justice.

Appellant was convicted of murder and the death penalty was imposed.

Our disposition of the case obviates a detailed statement of the facts. On the evening of February 13, 1954, Ard D. Rushton and a young lady companion were sitting in a parked truck on a side road near the City of Laurel. Appellant, with the obvious intention to commit robbery, approached the truck and fired two 22-rifle shots ahead of the truck and three into the truck. One shot struck Rushton in the head, killing him. Appellant opened the truck door, then became frightened and fled. Appellant drove to his father-in-law's home in Covington County, where he first hid the gun. Later, he took the gun into the woods and tried to destroy it with an axe. Finally, he burned the stock and buried the remaining metal parts of the gun and covered the place with leaves and brush. After his arrest, appellant made a full confession and showed the officers where to find the buried gun. From shell cases picked up at the scene of the crime, and comparing them with shell cases fired from another similar gun to which had been affixed the extractor, ejector, breach, and firing pin from the buried weapon, it was shown that the buried gun was the one used in the killing of Rushton. This comparison was made by a qualified firearms expert. Other physical evidence proved conclusively that appellant killed Rushton. Appellant's only defense was insanity, and he did not testify at the trial.

The proof on the question of insanity was made by members of appellant's family, but was corroborated to a considerable extent by disinterested witnesses; and it was sufficient to show, had the jury believed it, that appellant's grandfather died in an insane asylum, and [223 MISS 171] an uncle is now in an insane asylum; that appellant never passed from the first grade in school, and from a very early age had been mentally deficient. Various acts were testified about, indicating appellant had a low mentality, and on numerous occasions acted in such ways that the jury might have been justified in believing him insane and did not know the difference between moral right and wrong.

The State's proof on the question of insanity was largely that of the officers who had custody of the appellant for a period of about three weeks prior to the date of the trial.

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13 practice notes
  • Tran v. State, No. 92-KA-01058-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 22, 1996
    ...(1963); Funches v. State, 246 Miss. 214, 148 So.2d 710 (1963); Shields v. State, 244 Miss. 543, 144 So.2d 786 (1962); Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824 (1955); Tullos v. State, 222 Miss. 90, 75 So.2d 257 (1954); Smith v. State, 205 Miss. 283, 38 So.2d 725 (1949); Bridges v. Stat......
  • Hendrieth v. State, No. 45557
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 12, 1970
    ...or is permitted. This question has been submitted to this Court several times in the last few years. In the case of Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824 (1955), this instruction was '* * * 'The court instructs the jury for the State that the deliberate use of a deadly weapon in any......
  • Shields v. State, No. 42239
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 1, 1962
    ...supra; Hawthorne v. State, supra; Hansford v. State, 11 So. 106 (Miss.); Brandon v. State, 75 Miss. 904, 23 So. 517; Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824; Cumberland v. State, 110 Miss. 521, 70 So. 695; Batiste v. State, 165 Miss. 161, 147 So. 318; Busby v. State, 177 Miss. 68, 170......
  • Nicolaou v. State, No. 58000
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 26, 1988
    ...the slaying are shown. See: Fairchild v. State, 459 So.2d 793 (1984); Hendrieth v. State, 230 So.2d 217 (1970); Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824 (1955); Dickins v. State, 208 Miss. 69, 43 So.2d 366, sugg. error o'ruled, 208 Miss. 69, 43 So.2d 887 (1950); Crockerham v. State, 20......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Tran v. State, No. 92-KA-01058-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 22, 1996
    ...(1963); Funches v. State, 246 Miss. 214, 148 So.2d 710 (1963); Shields v. State, 244 Miss. 543, 144 So.2d 786 (1962); Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824 (1955); Tullos v. State, 222 Miss. 90, 75 So.2d 257 (1954); Smith v. State, 205 Miss. 283, 38 So.2d 725 (1949); Bridges v. Stat......
  • Hendrieth v. State, No. 45557
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 12, 1970
    ...or is permitted. This question has been submitted to this Court several times in the last few years. In the case of Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824 (1955), this instruction was '* * * 'The court instructs the jury for the State that the deliberate use of a deadly weapon in any......
  • Shields v. State, No. 42239
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 1, 1962
    ...supra; Hawthorne v. State, supra; Hansford v. State, 11 So. 106 (Miss.); Brandon v. State, 75 Miss. 904, 23 So. 517; Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824; Cumberland v. State, 110 Miss. 521, 70 So. 695; Batiste v. State, 165 Miss. 161, 147 So. 318; Busby v. State, 177 Miss. 68, 170......
  • Nicolaou v. State, No. 58000
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 26, 1988
    ...the slaying are shown. See: Fairchild v. State, 459 So.2d 793 (1984); Hendrieth v. State, 230 So.2d 217 (1970); Johnson v. State, 223 Miss. 167, 77 So.2d 824 (1955); Dickins v. State, 208 Miss. 69, 43 So.2d 366, sugg. error o'ruled, 208 Miss. 69, 43 So.2d 887 (1950); Crockerham v. State, 20......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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