Maye v. State

Decision Date09 March 2010
Docket NumberNo. 2007-KA-02147-COA.,2007-KA-02147-COA.
Citation49 So.3d 1140
PartiesCory Jermine MAYE, Appellant v. STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.
CourtMississippi Court of Appeals

Robert E. Evans, Monticello, Anna W. St. John, Michael Scott Labson, Abram J. Pafford, Benjamin J. Vernia, Jessica D. Gabel, James P. Sullivan, attorneys for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Ladonna C. Holland, attorney for appellee.


KING, C.J., for the Court:

¶ 1. Cory Maye was convicted in the Circuit Court of Marion County of capital murder, and sentenced to death. The trial court set aside the sentence and sentenced Maye to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Aggrieved by his conviction, Maye appeals. Maye asserts the following alleged points of error:

I. Whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient as a matter of law to sustain a conviction on the charged offenses.
II. Whether a new trial must be granted because the jury's verdict was against the weight of the evidence.
III. Whether the testimony of the State's forensic pathologist was admitted in error.
IV. Whether the circuit court erred in denying supplemental discovery of the credentials and practices of the State's expert witness.
V. Whether newly discovered forensic evidence necessitates a new trial.
VI. Whether the circuit court erroneously deprived the defendant of his right to be tried in Jefferson Davis County, as guaranteed by Article 3, Section 26 of the Mississippi Constitution.
VII. Whether the circuit court erred in refusing defendant's requested jury instructions.
VIII. Whether the State procured a search warrant through fraud, mandating a new trial.
IX. Whether the circuit court should have granted a motion to suppress due to the lack of probable cause supporting the search warrant.
X. Whether prosecutorial misconduct demands reversal of the conviction.
XI. Whether the defendant received effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment [to] the U.S. Constitution.
XII. Whether the sentence constituted cruel or unusual punishment in violation of Article 3, Section 28 of the Mississippi Constitution or the Eighth Amendment [to] the U.S. Constitution.


¶ 2. This case involves the death of a police officer in the line of duty. On the evening of December 26, 2001, sometime after 10:00 p.m., Officer Ron Jones was shot and killed by Maye while the officer was attempting to execute a search warrant.

¶ 3. On the evening of December 26, 2001, Officer Ron Jones of the Prentiss Police Department secured two search warrants for a duplex located on Mary Street in Prentiss, Mississippi. Officer Ron Jones presented two affidavits and search warrants to Municipal Judge Donald Kruger. Officer Ron Jones signed the affidavits in the presence of Judge Kruger. The affidavits indicated that Officer Ron Jones had received information from a confidential informant who had within the prior twenty-four hours seen a large amount of marijuana stored in the duplex. Officer Ron Jones also attested that he had information from various sources that drugs were being sold out of the duplex. Officer Ron Jones attested that he had conducted surveillance of the duplex and had seen large amounts of traffic there at unusual hours. Judge Kruger discussed the search warrant with Officer Ron Jones, and later testified, "Yes, I talked with him about it. He said that he was reliable, a person, that the informant was, and that one or two arrests had been made because of this reliable, this so-called reliable informant." Based on Officer Ron Jones's affidavit, Judge Kruger issued two search warrants for the Mary Street duplex, one for the left side of the duplex identifying Jamie Smith and/or persons unknown as the occupants and one for the right side of the duplex, which listed persons unknown as the occupants.

¶ 4. After securing the search warrants, Officer Ron Jones selected a team from the Prentiss Police Department, the Bassfield Police Department, the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff's Department, and the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force to assist him in executing the search warrants. The officers were separated into two teams: one team to search theleft side of the duplex and the other team to search the right side of the duplex. Agent Darrell Graves led Officers Mike Brown, Earl Bullock, Allen Allday, and Terrence Cooley in executing the search warrant on Smith's apartment, which was the left side of the duplex. Officer Ron Jones led Officers Stephen Jones, Darrell Cooley, and Phillip Allday in executing the search warrant on Maye's apartment, which was the right side of the duplex.

¶ 5. The officers arrived at the Mary Street duplex in marked police cars. The officers parked the cars directly in front of the duplex. Officer Ron Jones's team was the first to arrive at Maye's side of the duplex. Officers Ron Jones, Stephen Jones, and Darrell Cooley took the front door with Officer Phillip Allday guarding the back door.

¶ 6. Maye testified that he was asleep on the "chair right beside the front door." The officers testified that they went to the front door and loudly announced, "police, search warrant," three times. Officer Darrell Cooley testified that he arrived at the door first. The front porch light was on. Officer Darrell Cooley testified that he loudly announced, "police," then someone behind him announced, "search warrant." He then kicked at the door. Officer Darrell Cooley testified that he yelled "police" a second time, then someone behind him announced "search warrant" loudly. Again, Officer Darrell Cooley kicked at the door.

¶ 7. Officer Stephen Jones reported that at this point he could see a light in the house through the cracked blinds. He testified that "[t]he blinds opened, it appeared that somebody opened the blinds and looked out." When the blinds were opened, he noticed the light on inside of Maye's apartment. Officer Darrell Cooley testified that this was the first time that he noticed a light on inside the apartment. Officer Darrell Cooley testified that he looked "back in toward the window on the door, and [he] could see a light back to the left side of the door."

¶ 8. After noticing the light, Officer Darrell Cooley yelled, "police," a third time with someone behind him announcing "search warrant." When the door would not open, the officers decided to go to the back of the duplex to gain entry.

¶ 9. Officers Phillip Allday and Terrence Cooley were at the back of the duplex. Officer Terrence Cooley testified that he could "clearly hear" his fellow officers at the front of the house announce police, search warrant three times while he was at the back steps.

¶ 10. Officer Graves was in charge of executing the search warrant on Smith's apartment (left side). Officer Graves confirmed that the officers on Maye's side of the duplex had announced, "police, search warrant," as Officer Graves approached Smith's apartment. The occupants of Smith's apartment (left side) responded to the announcements and opened their door to allow the officers to execute the search warrant.

¶ 11. Unable to gain entry through Maye's front door, Officers Ron Jones and Stephen Jones went to the back door of Maye's apartment, leaving Officer Terrence Cooley to guard the front door. Officer Stephen Jones testified that upon reaching the back door, Officer Ron Jones checked to see if the back door would open, and then announced, "search warrant, police, search warrant." When the door would not open, Officers Ron Jones and Stephen Jones proceeded to the front of the house. Officers at the back of the duplex kicked the back door open. A couple of minutes passed between the officers' first announcement at the front door and the back door being kicked in. After theback door was opened, Officer Ron Jones was called to the back of the house. He proceeded to enter the house, yelling "police." He was met by shots fired from Maye's gun. Officer Ron Jones immediately left Maye's apartment stating that he had been shot. He was taken by Officer Stephen Jones to the hospital, where Officer Ron Jones died shortly after arrival. Officer Cooley apprehended Maye. A search of Maye's apartment conducted later by officers yielded small amounts of marijuana.

¶ 12. Maye, who admittedly was asleep on a chair right by the front door, testified that he was wakened by the banging on the front door. Maye denied hearing the police announce "police, search warrant" or looking out the window. Maye testified that he awoke frightened and ran to the bedroom in the back of the house. Maye testified that he grabbed his gun, loaded it, and laid it on the floor by the foot of his bed. His fourteen-month-old daughter was asleep in the middle of the bed. Maye testified that he heard kicks to the back door. He testified that he fired when he heard someone entering the house. Maye testified that after he fired the shots, he heard the other officers yell, "police, police, you just shot a[n] officer." Maye testified that he immediately he put his weapon down and slid it away.

¶ 13. After the trial of this case, Maye's counsel identified Randy Gentry as the informant who had supplied the information for the search warrant. Gentry testified that he had purchased forty dollars' worth of crack cocaine from Smith on December 26, 2001, and that Smith (who resided on the left side of the duplex) went to the right side of the duplex Maye's side, got the crack cocaine, and then gave it to Gentry.


¶ 14. On December 26, 2001, immediately after the shooting, Maye was arrested and held without bond. Maye was charged with capital murder for the killing of a police officer. On March 24, 2003, the trial court granted Maye's motion to change venue from Jefferson Davis County to Lamar County. On July 28, 2003, Maye moved to change venue from Lamar County back to Jefferson Davis County. The court granted the motion to change venue on September 26, 2003. However, rather than...

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  • Maye v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • December 2, 2010

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