Jones v. State, No. 56838

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtBefore WALKER; GRIFFIN; WALKER
Citation504 So.2d 1196
PartiesJames Earl JONES v. STATE of Mississippi.
Docket NumberNo. 56838
Decision Date18 March 1987

Page 1196

504 So.2d 1196
James Earl JONES
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 56838.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
March 18, 1987.
As Modified on Denial of Rehearing April 22, 1987.

Page 1197

James D. Minor, Oxford, for appellant.

Edwin Lloyd Pittman, Atty. Gen. by Leyser Q. Morris, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

Before WALKER, C.J., and ROBERTSON and GRIFFIN, JJ.

GRIFFIN, Justice, for the court:

James Earl Jones was tried and convicted for rape by the Circuit Court of Lafayette County. He was sentenced to serve a term of 35 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

The basis for Jones' whole attack on his conviction is the asserted illegality of the pre-trial identification. Appellant further assigns as error the search of his home, improper closing argument, and introduction of evidence of separate crimes. We will address only the Fourth Amendment question posed by the search and the pre-trial identification. Other assignments merit no consideration.

I.

The following facts give rise to the assigned error on appeal: On Friday, October 26, 1984, at approximately 5:30 p.m., the victim and a friend went to dinner at a local restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi. The two young women remained there until 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., at which time they departed by car for another establishment to visit some friends.

Upon leaving this last stop, they were approached near their car by a black man estimated by the girls to be around 20 years old. The girls testified that despite their adamant denials to his requests that they give him a ride home, he somehow found his way into the back seat of the car.

Testimony showed that several blocks away at a stop sign defendant forced one girl into the back seat, while he took over driving. The girls testified further that their pleas to offer him money to pay for an alternate ride home went unheeded, and defendant's course carried them to a wooded area off Old Sardis Road. At that time, he produced a switchblade knife, and he directed the girls to remove their clothing.

Following one unsuccessful attempt at escape which left her with severely cut hands from having fought with defendant in fear of her life, the victim's friend escaped into the woods where she wandered for several hours before finally emerging from her ordeal. In the meantime, the defendant, after cutting the victim's clothes from her, raped her and forced her to drive him to another location where he departed. Somehow the victim traveled the rest of the way back to Oxford, where she was discovered by an officer with the police department curled up in a fetal position on the front seat of her car, still unclothed. She was taken to the Oxford-Lafayette Hospital, and was joined shortly thereafter by her friend, who had finally found her way out of the woods.

Within just a few hours of all these events, officers, following directions from

Page 1198

the girls, found the scene of the crime where several items were observed in the area, to-wit: items of clothing of the victim and her friend, a necklace belonging to the victim, and a New York Yankee's baseball cap, allegedly worn by their assailant.

Then, between 8:30 and 9:00 that morning, October 27, 1984, the girls identified, at least to the satisfaction of the officers, the defendant as their assailant, having chosen him from an array of seven pictures presented to them. At 2:00 p.m., the same day, the girls identified appellant from a line-up.

Sheriff F.D. "Buddy" East and several other officers on that same afternoon testified that they had gone to defendant's residence (actually belonging to his father) and upon knocking at the door were told to enter. Defendant was advised of his rights at that time and then taken to the sheriff's office. Prior to their departure, the officers requested, and received permission to confiscate a pair of blue jeans lying on the floor. Appellant was again advised of his rights at the station and questioned about the crime.

Following interrogation of the defendant, the officers obtained a search warrant for the residence, and upon their return to it seized a knife, a dark jacket and a pair of men's underwear, all of which had been sighted by the girls as being worn or used by their assailant and which were included in the affidavit supporting the search warrant.

Appellant moved for suppression of the evidence of the search of his home, but after a hearing his motion was overruled. Appellant proceeded to trial on February 19, 1985, and this trial ended in a verdict of guilty February 21, 1985.

II.

DID THE TRIAL COURT ERR IN ALLOWING THE IN-COURT

IDENTIFICATION OF DEFENDANT FOLLOWING WHAT HE

ALLEGES WERE SUGGESTIVE PRE-TRIAL

IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES?

Appelant challenges the legal adequacy of the photographic spread and subsequent lineup, and claims that these out of court identifications influenced and tainted his in court identification as the perpetrator of the crime. In support thereof, he cites Stovall v. Denno, 388 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 1967, 18 L.Ed.2d 1199 (1967), a United States Supreme Court case in which it was held that a criminal defendant may claim that an identification procedure was so unnecessarily suggestive and conducive to irreparable mistaken identity that it led to a denial of due process of law. Appellant contends that that case also stands for the proposition that the determination to be made must be on the totality of the circumstances.

Also, in support of his case he cites Manson v. Braithwaite, 432 U.S. 98, 97 S.Ct. 2243, 53 L.Ed.2d 140 (1977), in which the United States Supreme Court delineated the following factors to be considered in analysis of the legal sufficiency of the identification procedure: (1) opportunity to view; (2) the degree of attention; (3) the accuracy of the description; (4) the witness's level of certainty; and (5) the time between the crime and the confrontation.

Appellant claims that several of these factors were not met in his own identification as the alleged assailant in the rape, and as such the identification procedure suffers from a legal...

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26 practice notes
  • Flowers v. State, NO. 2010–DP–01348–SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 2, 2017
    ...defendant even though he was the only suspect in the photo lineup wearing a hat similar to the one worn by the attacker. Jones v. State , 504 So.2d 1196, 1199–1200 (Miss. 1987). This Court found that, even though the hat may have played a significant part in the identification, it was not i......
  • Brooks v. State, No. 98-KA-00322-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 7, 1999
    ...the issue of whether such minor differences in the photographs would, in fact, create an impermissible suggestion in Jones v. State, 504 So.2d 1196 (1976)[(1987)]. In 748 So.2d 742 that case, the defendant was the only one in an array of seven photographs who was wearing a cap. His was the ......
  • Flowers v. State, NO. 2010-DP-01348-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 19, 2010
    ...defendant even though he was the only suspect in the photo lineup wearing a hat similar to the one worn by the attacker. Jones v. State, 504 So. 2d 1196, 1199-1200 (Miss. 1987). This Court found that, even though the hat may have played a significant part in the identification, it was not i......
  • Corrothers v. State, NO. 2012-DP-00208-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 26, 2014
    ...in the lineup wearing a baseball cap, and the Court again found that the lineup was not impermissibly suggestive. Jones v. State, 504 So. 2d 1196, 1199-2000 (Miss. 1987).¶40. In the photographic lineup at issue, four of the six individuals were wearing orange Mississippi Department of Corre......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Flowers v. State, NO. 2010–DP–01348–SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 2, 2017
    ...defendant even though he was the only suspect in the photo lineup wearing a hat similar to the one worn by the attacker. Jones v. State , 504 So.2d 1196, 1199–1200 (Miss. 1987). This Court found that, even though the hat may have played a significant part in the identification, it was not i......
  • Brooks v. State, No. 98-KA-00322-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 7, 1999
    ...the issue of whether such minor differences in the photographs would, in fact, create an impermissible suggestion in Jones v. State, 504 So.2d 1196 (1976)[(1987)]. In 748 So.2d 742 that case, the defendant was the only one in an array of seven photographs who was wearing a cap. His was the ......
  • Flowers v. State, NO. 2010-DP-01348-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 19, 2010
    ...defendant even though he was the only suspect in the photo lineup wearing a hat similar to the one worn by the attacker. Jones v. State, 504 So. 2d 1196, 1199-1200 (Miss. 1987). This Court found that, even though the hat may have played a significant part in the identification, it was not i......
  • Corrothers v. State, NO. 2012-DP-00208-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 26, 2014
    ...in the lineup wearing a baseball cap, and the Court again found that the lineup was not impermissibly suggestive. Jones v. State, 504 So. 2d 1196, 1199-2000 (Miss. 1987).¶40. In the photographic lineup at issue, four of the six individuals were wearing orange Mississippi Department of Corre......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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