Lockett v. State, No. DP-64

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtDAN M. LEE; Here; WALKER, C.J., ROY NOBLE LEE and HAWKINS, P.JJ., and GRIFFIN; ROBERTSON; Doubt that Judge Brown came to the Lockett home in the subjective attitude of a neutral and detached magistrate was quickly confirmed. His official duty complet
Citation517 So.2d 1317
PartiesCarl Daniel LOCKETT v. STATE of Mississippi.
Docket NumberNo. DP-64
Decision Date30 September 1987

Page 1317

517 So.2d 1317
Carl Daniel LOCKETT
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. DP-64.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
Sept. 30, 1987.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 13, 1988.

Page 1320

Clive A. Stafford Smith, Atlanta, Ga., for appellant.

Edwin Lloyd Pittman, Atty. Gen. by Marvin L. White, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., and Donald G. Barlow, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, and Orbie Craft, Dist. Atty., Brandon, for appellee.

EN BANC.

DAN M. LEE, Justice, for the Court:

I.

This capital murder appeal arises out of the murder of a Rankin County man as his wife watched, horrified. The Defendant, sentenced to die, has presented a great number of challenges to the legality of his conviction and sentence. We have considered these with great care, and, for the reasons set forth below, reject them all. We affirm.

II.

During the early morning hours of December 13, 1985, Lockett arose and, carrying a .32 caliber pistol and a .22 caliber rifle, walked through the woods to the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Calhoun in Rankin County. Longtime residents of the small Puckett community, the Calhouns lived with their two teenage sons a short distance from the home Lockett shared with his brother and sister.

Lockett crept up toward the back of the Calhoun house and waited until he saw John Calhoun and his two sons leave. He then walked to the carport and, believing that Calhoun would return soon, walked through the door into the house. On seeing Mrs. Calhoun seated watching television, Lockett grabbed her and forced her through the various rooms of the house, "looking for things."

Shortly thereafter Mr. Calhoun returned and drove his car into the driveway. Lockett hid behind the door and responded to Mrs. Calhoun's pleas for mercy with an order for her to "be quiet." As Mr. Calhoun walked through the front door, Lockett launched a volley of gunfire from the .32 pistol. Although Mr. Calhoun was struck by the first shot, Lockett fired 3-4 more times.

It was stipulated at trial that John Calhoun was killed, as his wife watched, by three .32 caliber gunshot wounds to the left chest, right chest and back. It was further stipulated that the bullets came from a gun matching the type seized in a later search of Lockett's bedroom.

Page 1321

Despite Mrs. Calhoun's pleas that he go ahead and kill her at the house rather than force her to leave with him, Lockett forced her to remove her dead husband's wallet, grabbed her and marched her to her car. He took the credit cards from John Calhoun's wallet and drove Mrs. Calhoun to a nearby abandoned egg house owned by Lockett's grandmother. Mrs. Calhoun was executed by Lockett's two rifle shots to her head. 1 The defense stipulated that Mrs. Calhoun's wounds were inflicted by a .22 caliber rifle of the type removed from the defendant's bedroom during the later search. Thereafter, Lockett stripped the Calhouns' car, hid the car parts in the egg house, and walked back through the woods to his house. Once there, he hid the guns and credit cards and went to sleep.

John Calhoun's body was found by his brother within an hour or two of the killing. An intensive investigation followed involving bloodhounds. Later that same day, officers found Mrs. Calhoun's body, the stashed car parts, and the abandoned car. Officers also recovered from the egg house a spiral composition book bearing the name of Carl Lockett. Further development of leads led authorities to obtain a warrant and search Lockett's room, a search which uncovered both murder weapons (which had been stolen in earlier community burglaries), John Calhoun's credit cards and a blank check bearing the Calhoun name.

Thereafter, Lockett was taken into custody. After waiving his rights at the Rankin County Sheriff's office, Lockett confessed. Subsequently, another waiver was made and Lockett tendered a complete tape-recorded account of the crime.

Lockett was indicted in the Circuit Court of Rankin County for the murder of John Calhoun. Following a change of venue, he was tried in Circuit Court in Pascagoula, Mississippi. On April 2, 1986, a jury convicted Lockett of the capital murder of John Calhoun and sentenced him to death. Lockett filed the usual post-trial motions, which were all denied. Lockett appeals assigning the following errors:

(1) The admission of evidence seized pursuant to an invalid warrant that was issued by a partial magistrate and was never served upon the occupant of the house searched, and pursuant to a warrantless arrest within his house, violated Lockett's rights under the Fourth Amendment.

(2) The confessions introduced against Lockett at trial were both involuntary and the fruit of the illegal search, seizure and arrest.

(3) When Lockett was brought into the courtroom before the jury in shackles, he was denied his right to due process.

(3A) The introduction throughout both phases of Lockett's trial of evidence and argument concerning a distinct crime of murder, and other crimes, deprived Lockett of his rights under the constitutions of this state and of the United States.

(4) The State's abuse of its peremptory challenges to exclude all the blacks from Lockett's jury deprived him of his right to a representative jury and to due process of law.

(5) The impartiality of the venire selected to try Lockett was reasonably questioned when it became apparent that there were many close associates of law enforcement on it.

(6) The charge of capital murder was unacceptably duplicitous, a fault uncured by the jury verdict.

(7) The submission to the jury of the aggravating circumstance alleging the commission of a murder in the course of a burglary, robbery and/or a kidnapping denied Lockett his constitutional rights.

(7A) The trial court erred in submitting to the jury the aggravating circumstance of a murder committed while under sentence of imprisonment.

(8) The submission of the aggravating circumstance of heinous, atrocious and cruel denied Lockett his rights under the constitutions

Page 1322

of this state and the United States.

(9) The submission of the aggravating circumstance of pecuniary gain constituted double jeopardy, and failed meaningfully to narrow the class of persons eligible for the death sentence.

(10) The instructions at the penalty phase deprived Lockett of his rights under the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Mississippi law.

(11) The prosecution committed misconduct that rendered Lockett's trial fundamentally unfair.

(13) The excusal of venireperson Crear without the showing of predisposition against the death penalty required in Fuselier v. State cannot be squared with Lockett's constitutional rights.

(14) The imposition of the death penalty upon a person who does not intend to commit murder violates the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(15) The death sentence imposed upon Lockett is disproportionate and was the consequence of emotion and caprice.

GUILT PHASE

III.

THE ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE SEIZED PURSUANT TO AN INVALID

SEARCH WARRANT THAT WAS ISSUED BY A PARTIAL MAGISTRATE AND

WAS NEVER SERVED UPON THE OCCUPANT OF THE HOUSE SEARCHED,

AND PURSUANT TO A WARRANTLESS ARREST WITHIN HIS HOUSE,

VIOLATED LOCKETT'S RIGHTS UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT.

Lockett first challenges the legality of the search warrant through which evidence was obtained and used against him. On the day following the incident, Officers Craft and McCrory and Investigator Burnham went to the Lockett home. When they arrived, Yancey Lockett, Carl's brother, refused to let them search the home. Officer McCrory then called Justice Court Judge Billy Ray Brown and asked him to come to the scene and give them a search warrant. 2 When Judge Brown arrived at the scene, he swore in the officers and they supplied him with a written affidavit and oral statements to establish probable cause. Based on this information, Judge Brown issued a search warrant for the Lockett home.

Lockett challenges the legality of the warrant on several grounds, the first two being lack of a neutral and detached issuing magistrate and lack of probable cause. Additionally, Lockett argues the warrant was deficient in several material respects, including the scope of the search and formal service of the warrant. Each of Lockett's challenges will be addressed separately along with the pertinent facts.

A. Neutral and Detached Magistrate

Lockett challenges Justice Court Judge Brown's role as a neutral and detached magistrate, alleging that the judge participated in the investigation of the crime so as to be nothing more than a mere "rubber stamp" for the police. See McCommon v. State, 467 So.2d 940, 942 (Miss.1985), cert. den., 474 U.S. 984, 106 S.Ct. 393, 88 L.Ed.2d 345 (1985). Specifically, Lockett contends that Judge Brown remained on the scene for a long period, took Yancey in handcuffs to find Carl, appeared on television when he returned to the scene, and finally delivered Yancey to jail, driving in the convoy of law enforcement officers. Lockett contends that the aggregate effect of these actions made a biased issuing magistrate.

The State contends that these facts bear out that Judge Brown acted in a neutral and detached capacity. 3 Acknowledging

Page 1323

that Brown met the officers at the scene, the state submits that the mere presence of the judge at Lockett's home does not per se taint issuance of a warrant. See Rains v. State, 161 Ga.App. 361, 288 S.E.2d 626, 628 (1982); U.S. v. Duncan, 420 F.2d 328 (5th Cir.1970). Further, the State argues that Brown's activities after issuing the warrant on the scene did not destroy his neutral capacity. Specifically, the State points to Judge Brown's testimony where he testified that after issuing the warrant, he backed his car away from the house and never entered the house nor observed any items recovered from the search. He did not conduct a formal inventory of the seized items until two days later. Brown also testified that while he sat in his car,...

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191 practice notes
  • Clemons v. Mississippi, No. 88-6873
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1990
    ...way served to narrow or guide rationally the jury's sentencing discretion") (Robertson, J., concurring). 11. See, e.g., Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317 (1987), cert. denied, 487 U.S. 1210, 108 S.Ct. 2858, 101 L.Ed.2d 895 (1988); Jones v. State, supra; Wiley v. State, supra; Booker v. State......
  • Ballenger v. State, No. 93-DP-00081-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 21, 1995
    ...role in conducting Witherspoon voir dire of potential jurors in capital cases. See Hansen, 592 So.2d at 128-29; Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317, 1335 (Miss.1987); Gray v. State, 472 So.2d 409, 421 (Miss.1985). It is logical that the Circuit Court should take a similar role when conducting ......
  • Flowers v. State, NO. 2010–DP–01348–SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 2, 2017
    ...1987). Cole v. State , 525 So.2d 365 (Miss. 1987). Lockett v. State , 517 So.2d 1346 (Miss. 1987).240 So.3d 1182 Lockett v. State , 517 So.2d 1317 (Miss. 1987). Faraga v. State , 514 So.2d 295 (Miss. 1987).* Jones v. State , 517 So.2d 1295 (Miss. 1987) ; Jones v. Mississippi , 487 U.S. 1230......
  • Woodward v. State, No. DP-81
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 5, 1988
    ...oath. This holding was reaffirmed in Wainwright v. Witt, 469 U.S. 412, 105 S.Ct. 844, 83 L.Ed.2d 841 (1985). See also Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317, 1335 (Miss.1987); Wiley v. State, 484 So.2d 339 (Miss.1986); Fuselier v. State, 468 So.2d 45, 53-54 To answer the issue of whether the veni......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
191 cases
  • Clemons v. Mississippi, No. 88-6873
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1990
    ...way served to narrow or guide rationally the jury's sentencing discretion") (Robertson, J., concurring). 11. See, e.g., Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317 (1987), cert. denied, 487 U.S. 1210, 108 S.Ct. 2858, 101 L.Ed.2d 895 (1988); Jones v. State, supra; Wiley v. State, supra; Booker v. State......
  • Ballenger v. State, No. 93-DP-00081-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 21, 1995
    ...role in conducting Witherspoon voir dire of potential jurors in capital cases. See Hansen, 592 So.2d at 128-29; Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317, 1335 (Miss.1987); Gray v. State, 472 So.2d 409, 421 (Miss.1985). It is logical that the Circuit Court should take a similar role when conducting ......
  • Flowers v. State, NO. 2010–DP–01348–SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 2, 2017
    ...1987). Cole v. State , 525 So.2d 365 (Miss. 1987). Lockett v. State , 517 So.2d 1346 (Miss. 1987).240 So.3d 1182 Lockett v. State , 517 So.2d 1317 (Miss. 1987). Faraga v. State , 514 So.2d 295 (Miss. 1987).* Jones v. State , 517 So.2d 1295 (Miss. 1987) ; Jones v. Mississippi , 487 U.S. 1230......
  • Woodward v. State, No. DP-81
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 5, 1988
    ...oath. This holding was reaffirmed in Wainwright v. Witt, 469 U.S. 412, 105 S.Ct. 844, 83 L.Ed.2d 841 (1985). See also Lockett v. State, 517 So.2d 1317, 1335 (Miss.1987); Wiley v. State, 484 So.2d 339 (Miss.1986); Fuselier v. State, 468 So.2d 45, 53-54 To answer the issue of whether the veni......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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