Pearson v. State, No. 54074

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtROBERTSON; PATTERSON; ROY NOBLE LEE
Citation428 So.2d 1361
PartiesJimmy Lee PEARSON v. STATE of Mississippi.
Decision Date09 March 1983
Docket NumberNo. 54074

Page 1361

428 So.2d 1361
Jimmy Lee PEARSON
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 54074.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
March 9, 1983.
Rehearing Denied April 13, 1983.

Page 1362

Thomas D. Lee, Forest, for appellant.

Bill Allain, Atty. Gen. by Catherine Walker Underwood, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

Before BROOM, PRATHER and ROBERTSON, JJ.

ROBERTSON, Justice, for the Court:

I.

On the morning of October 22, 1981, the home of A.B. Crudup near Pulaski, Scott County, Mississippi, was burglarized. In due course Jimmy Lee Pearson, defendant below and appellant here, and Danny Paul Hicks were formally charged with this burglary in indictments returned by the Scott County Grand Jury. After severance, the case against Jimmy Lee Pearson was called for trial on the morning of Monday, March 8, 1982. That afternoon, after hearing all of the evidence and receiving the instructions of the court and the arguments of counsel, the jury found Pearson guilty of the charge of burglary. The Circuit Court thereupon imposed the maximum allowable sentence, ten years. Miss.Code Ann. Sec. 97-17-19 (1972).

Pearson thereafter timely filed a motion for a new trial, attacking both his conviction and sentence. The Circuit Court overruled the motion. Pearson then filed a motion to reduce his sentence to a term in line with plea bargain offers he had received before trial. This motion likewise was overruled.

Pearson has perfected his appeal to this Court where he again attacks both his conviction and sentence. We affirm.

II.

Stating them as we must in the light most favorable to the verdict, the facts are as follows: A.D. Crudup, his wife Kathleen and three of his children live in a home some three-quarters of a mile east of the Pulaski community, which is in turn some seven miles south of Morton, Mississippi. On the morning of October 22, 1981, Mr. and Mrs. Crudup left for work as usual; the children, of course, went to school. The house was left locked.

That morning Jimmy Lee Pearson and his half-brother, Danny Paul Hicks, were riding in an automobile traveling toward Pulaski. Hicks was driving. Pearson told Hicks to stop and let him out of the car and to come back and pick him up later. Hicks said he was going to town to see someone about making some repairs to his car. He let Pearson out within walking distance of the Crudup home. Pearson then walked to the Crudup home and broke into and entered the same. He carried away, among other things, a small tabletop television and a .410 gauge shotgun.

After the completion of his criminal deeds, Pearson returned to the roadside where he was picked up by Hicks. Hicks then drove the two to Hicks' home where the fruits of the burglary were deposited. The two then borrowed a truck and picked up yet another companion, Sammy Holifield. The three returned to Hicks' home and picked up the stolen items and thereafter sold some of them.

On November 9, 1981, Hicks was arrested in connection with the crime. Hicks gave a statement to law enforcement officials implicating Pearson. On November 13, 1981, Pearson was arrested and orally confessed the burglary.

As indicated above, Pearson, now 36 years old, has been indicted, tried and convicted of the crime of burglary and sentenced to a term of ten years. Hicks was allowed to plead guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact of burglary and received a five-year probationary sentence. Holifield has never been indicted.

Page 1363

III.

On this appeal Pearson urges as error the refusal of the Circuit Court to direct a verdict of acquittal or, in the alternative, to grant him a new trial. The sole basis for this contention is Pearson's argument that the verdict "was tainted and based largely on perjured testimony introduced by the state."

This Court has on more than one occasion affirmed a conviction under circumstances more egregious than those here. That an accomplice may on the witness stand vary his testimony from his pretrial statements neither renders the testimony per se inadmissible, nor does it vitiate a subsequent conviction. See Frazier v. State, 142 Miss. 456, 459-460, 107 So. 674, 675 (1926); Vanderpoel v. State, 251 So.2d 922, 925-926 (Miss.1971).

To be sure, where it may be established that a conviction has been obtained through the use of false evidence or perjured testimony, the accused's rights secured by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States are implicated. Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935). And this is so without regard to whether the prosecution has wilfully procured the perjured testimony. Where such false evidence has in fact contributed to the conviction, the accused is entitled to relief therefrom. Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217 (1959); Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 92 S.Ct. 763, 31 L.Ed.2d 104 (1972).

On the record here under review Pearson simply does not present us with the facts sufficient to grant him relief under these well established principles of law. Pearson does not come before this Court armed with any finding of fact that perjury has been committed by a material witness on an issue important to Pearson's culpability.

It is true that on one occasion outside the presence of the jury the Circuit Judge remarked "I have heard a lot of lying going on here today..." And in overruling defendant's motion for a directed verdict at the conclusion of the state's case, referring to the witness Danny Paul Hicks, the Circuit Judge remarked "In my opinion, he is guilty of perjury, or at least some of the other witnesses may be guilty of perjury."

From our careful review of the record and the context in which the Circuit Judge's remarks were made, Pearson's argument has no force. The expressed skepticism regarding Hicks' testimony pertain...

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130 practice notes
  • Williams v. State, No. 54294
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 18, 1984
    ...verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. See, e.g., Quarles v. State, 199 So.2d 58, 61 (Miss.1967); Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361, 1364 (Miss.1983). It is rare that we invoke this power to order a new Section 99-19-105(3)(b) requires us to review any death sentence to......
  • Nicholson v. State, No. 57471
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 16, 1988
    ...the overwhelming weight of the evidence that "to allow it to stand would be to sanction an unconscionable injustice." Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361, 1364 (Miss.1983); Groseclose v. State, 440 So.2d 297 (Miss.1983). See also, Russell v. State, 506 So.2d 974, 977 (Miss.1987); Shive v. Stat......
  • Clemons v. State, No. DP-83
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 30, 1988
    ...against Clemons and the evidence supports the guilty verdict. Williams v. State, 445 So.2d 798, 811 (Miss.1984); Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361 The assigned Error I is denied. PART II Sentencing Phase (1) THE SENTENCE OF DEATH IS VIOLATIVE OF APPELLANT'S RIGHTS AND IS AGAINST THE OVERWHEL......
  • Neal v. State, No. 54739
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • May 23, 1984
    ...conflicting evidence and the credibility of witnesses. See, e.g., Gathright v. State, 380 So.2d 1276, 1278 (Miss.1980); Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361, 1363 (Miss.1983). The jury in this case was correctly--though unnecessarily restrictively--instructed regarding the elements of kidnappin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
130 cases
  • Williams v. State, No. 54294
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 18, 1984
    ...verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. See, e.g., Quarles v. State, 199 So.2d 58, 61 (Miss.1967); Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361, 1364 (Miss.1983). It is rare that we invoke this power to order a new Section 99-19-105(3)(b) requires us to review any death sentence to......
  • Nicholson v. State, No. 57471
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 16, 1988
    ...the overwhelming weight of the evidence that "to allow it to stand would be to sanction an unconscionable injustice." Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361, 1364 (Miss.1983); Groseclose v. State, 440 So.2d 297 (Miss.1983). See also, Russell v. State, 506 So.2d 974, 977 (Miss.1987); Shive v. Stat......
  • Clemons v. State, No. DP-83
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 30, 1988
    ...against Clemons and the evidence supports the guilty verdict. Williams v. State, 445 So.2d 798, 811 (Miss.1984); Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361 The assigned Error I is denied. PART II Sentencing Phase (1) THE SENTENCE OF DEATH IS VIOLATIVE OF APPELLANT'S RIGHTS AND IS AGAINST THE OVERWHEL......
  • Neal v. State, No. 54739
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • May 23, 1984
    ...conflicting evidence and the credibility of witnesses. See, e.g., Gathright v. State, 380 So.2d 1276, 1278 (Miss.1980); Pearson v. State, 428 So.2d 1361, 1363 (Miss.1983). The jury in this case was correctly--though unnecessarily restrictively--instructed regarding the elements of kidnappin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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