PITCHFORD V. State Of Miss., NO. 2006-DP-00441-SCT

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtHON. JOSEPH H. LOPER, JR.
PartiesTERRY PITCHFORD v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
Decision Date24 June 2010
Docket NumberNO. 2006-DP-00441-SCT

TERRY PITCHFORD
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

NO. 2006-DP-00441-SCT

In The Supreme Court Of Mississippi

06/24/2010


HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER, JR.

DATE OF JUDGMENT:

02/09/2006

TRIAL JUDGE:

HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER, JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED:

GRENADA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT:

ALISON R. STEINER

RAY CHARLES CARTER

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE:

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

BY: PATRICK JOSEPH McNAMARA, JR.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY:

DOUG EVANS

NATURE OF THE CASE:

CRIMINAL-DEATH PENALTY-DIRECT

APPEAL

DISPOSITION:

AFFIRMED-06/24/2010

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

EN BANC.

DICKINSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

¶1 Terry Pitchford and an accomplice killed a store-owner in Grenada County during the course of an armed robbery. Pitchford was indicted, tried, and convicted of capital murder, and the jury found that he should be executed by lethal injection. He appeals, raising for our review seventeen issues. Because we find no reversible error, we affirm the conviction and sentence.

Page 2

BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

¶2. On the morning of November 7, 2004, Walter Davis and his son entered the Crossroads Grocery, where they discovered the body of the owner, Reuben Britt. They immediately called 911, and Grenada County Sheriff's Department Investigator Greg Conley responded.

¶3. During his initial investigation at the scene, Investigator Conley observed that some of Britt's wounds appeared to have been made by a projectile, and others by pellets, suggesting to Investigator Conley that two different weapons were involved. Missing from the store were a cash register, some cash, and a.38 caliber revolver loaded with "rat shot." Also during his initial investigation, Investigator Conley received information suggesting that a vehicle owned by Terry Pitchford matched the description of the car used by Britt's assailants, and that Pitchford had been part of a previous attempt to rob the Crossroads Grocery.

¶4. At Pitchford's home, Conley found a car matching the description of the one involved in the homicide at the Crossroad's grocery. After a search of the vehicle produced the missing.38 caliber revolver, Pitchford was taken into custody.

¶5. On November 7 and 8, 2004, Investigator Conley and Investigator Robert Jennings of the local district attorney's office interviewed Pitchford. During those interviews, Pitchford confessed that he and Eric Bullin had gone to the store with the intention of robbing it. Pitchford stated that Bullin had shot Britt three times with a.22 caliber pistol, and that he (Pitchford) had fired shots into the floor. Pitchford also confessed that he had attempted to rob the same store a week and a half prior to the murder on November 7.

Page 3

Pitchford also confessed his role in the murders to fellow inmates Dantron Mitchell and James Hatchcock.

¶6. On January 11, 2005, the Grenada County Grand Jury indicted Pitchford for capital murder. After he was appointed counsel, he was arraigned on February 9, 2005, and jury selection commenced on February 6, 2006. Of the 350 registered voters of Grenada County who were summoned to a special venire, 126 returned jury questionnaires and appeared upon their summonses. Of these, forty were African-American, eighty-four were Caucasion, one was Hispanic, and one did not provide race information.

¶7. The trial judge (without objection from either party) excused certain jurors for statutory cause and other reasons unrelated to the case. At that point, the venire stood at ninety-six, of which thirty-five were African-American, and sixty-one were white. Following voir dire by the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT