Reed v. State, No. 44414

CourtMississippi Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtRODGERS; ETHRIDGE
Citation197 So.2d 811
Decision Date10 April 1967
Docket NumberNo. 44414
PartiesWilliam Wylie REED v. STATE of Mississippi.

Page 811

197 So.2d 811
William Wylie REED
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 44414.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
April 10, 1967.
Suggestion of Error Overruled May 2, 1967.

Page 812

Poole & Marks, Jackson, for appellant.

Joe T. Patterson, Atty.Gen., by Guy N. Rogers, Asst.Atty.Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

RODGERS, Justice.

The defendant, William Wylie Reed, appellant here, was indicted on a charge of murder by the Grand Jury of the Second District of Jones County, Mississippi. He was tried and convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to serve a term of nine years in the State Penitentiary. He has appealed to this Court and complains that the trial court should have granted him certain instructions based upon Mississippi Code Annotated section 2525 (1956), submitting to the jury his theory that he was justified in assaulting the deceased because he had insulted him. He also complains that two instructions based upon sub-sections (b) and (c) of Mississippi Code Annotated section 2219 (1956) were erroneously refused. This statute makes homicide excusable for accident and misfortune, or in cases where such killing occurs in sudden combat, not in a cruel and unusual manner. The appellant complains of an instruction granted to the State permitting the jury to determine whether or not the killing was "necessary". On a motion for a new trial, the defendant alleged that a witness for the State, who had been previously introduced, but whose testimony was held to be incompetent by the court, was again put upon the witness stand by the State in order to influence the jury to the prejudice of defendant. Finally, it is charged that the district attorney commented in his concluding argument upon the failure of the defendant to testify.

The facts in this case are outlined in a statement given to the officers by the defendant. His wife and members of his family corroborated parts of this statement. This statement shows that on the afternoon of the homicide, the defendant went to Roy's Cafe and drank beer, and there he

Page 813

met a stranger, the deceased Tommie G. Parker. Defendant had several drinks with the deceased and finally went out to a men's room in the back of the cafe. Tommie C. Parker followed the defendant to the rest room, and there made an indecent homosexual proposal to him. The defendant was incensed. He became excited and struck the deceased, and kicked him twice on the head while deceased was lying on the ground. When he left the deceased, he was alive. The testimony also shows that the deceased was discovered by the owner of the cafe. He was either dead or dying at the time he was discovered. There was considerable blood on the ground where the deceased was lying. His pants were unzipped, and one of the pockets to his pants was torn. The officers said they did not find his watch or any money upon the body of the deceased.

At the close of the testimony for the State, the defendant made a motion asking the court to find the defendant not guilty, or, in the alternative, to reduce and restrict the charge to manslaughter. The court overruled the motion for a directed verdict but sustained the second part of the motion so as to reduce the charge to manslaughter. After all of the testimony had been introduced, the case was submitted to the jury and the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter.

The defendant requested the following instructions, which were refused:

(a)

"The court instructs the jury for the defendant that the jury may consider and determine whether insulting words were used by the deceased to the Defendant, and the jury may further determine whether such words were a sufficient excuse for or justification of the offense committed. And in this case, if you believe that the deceased used insulting words to the Defendant at the time of the commission of an assault upon the deceased; and if you further believe that such words constituted a sufficient excuse for or justification of the offense committed, then it is your sworn duty to find the Defendant not guilty."

(b)

"The court instructs the jury for the Defendant that if you believe that the deceased used insulting words toward the Defendant at the time of an assault upon the deceased by the Defendant, and if you further believe that such insulting words were a sufficient excuse for or justification of the assault; and if you further believe that the homicide then resulted by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, and upon a sudden and sufficient provocation, then it is your sworn duty to find the Defendant not guilty."

(c)

"The court instructs the jury for the Defendant that the killing of any human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another is excusable when committed upon sudden combat, without undue advantage being taken, and without any dangerous weapon being used, and not done in a cruel and unusual manner.

"And in this case, the burden is upon the State of Mississippi to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing of the deceased was not committed upon any sudden combat, without undue advantage being taken and without any dangerous weapon being used, and not done in a cruel...

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17 practice notes
  • McGilberry v. State, No. 97-DP-00213-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 3, 1999
    ...just no other reasonable explanation for a prosecutor's reference to the fact that the defendant "sits there." s 144. In Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811, 814 (Miss.1967), the district attorney asked the jury to "[l]ook at the defendant. I have observed him for the past two days and he sat and ......
  • Moffett v. State, No. 2011–DR–00028–SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • April 24, 2014
    ...the defendant sat in the courtroom and showed no emotion, the implication being that, for that reason, he must be guilty. Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811, 815–16 (Miss.1967). In Davis v. State, 684 So.2d 643 (Miss.1996), during closing arguments of the sentencing phase, the prosecutor stated, ......
  • Holly v. State, No. 93-DP-00263-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 8, 1996
    ...is a prosecuting attorney prevented from commenting on the appearance of the defendant as it existed during his testimony. Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811, 815 (Miss.1967); see also Knox v. State, 502 So.2d 672, 675 (Miss.1987) (prosecution may comment on demeanor of defendant who personally s......
  • Blue v. State, No. 93-DP-00534-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 15, 1996
    ...untested in the crucible of cross-examination. In support of this contention, Blue directs this Court to its decision in Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811 (Miss.1967). In that case, the prosecutor made the following argument to Page 1214 the jury: "Look at the defendant. I have observed him for ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • McGilberry v. State, No. 97-DP-00213-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 3, 1999
    ...just no other reasonable explanation for a prosecutor's reference to the fact that the defendant "sits there." s 144. In Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811, 814 (Miss.1967), the district attorney asked the jury to "[l]ook at the defendant. I have observed him for the past two days and he sat and ......
  • Moffett v. State, No. 2011–DR–00028–SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • April 24, 2014
    ...the defendant sat in the courtroom and showed no emotion, the implication being that, for that reason, he must be guilty. Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811, 815–16 (Miss.1967). In Davis v. State, 684 So.2d 643 (Miss.1996), during closing arguments of the sentencing phase, the prosecutor stated, ......
  • Holly v. State, No. 93-DP-00263-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 8, 1996
    ...is a prosecuting attorney prevented from commenting on the appearance of the defendant as it existed during his testimony. Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811, 815 (Miss.1967); see also Knox v. State, 502 So.2d 672, 675 (Miss.1987) (prosecution may comment on demeanor of defendant who personally s......
  • Blue v. State, No. 93-DP-00534-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 15, 1996
    ...untested in the crucible of cross-examination. In support of this contention, Blue directs this Court to its decision in Reed v. State, 197 So.2d 811 (Miss.1967). In that case, the prosecutor made the following argument to Page 1214 the jury: "Look at the defendant. I have observed him for ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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