Robinson v. State

Decision Date19 April 2018
Docket NumberNO. 2014–KA–01038–SCT,2014–KA–01038–SCT
Citation247 So.3d 1212
Parties Dominic C. ROBINSON a/k/a Dominic Carlous Robinson v. STATE of Mississippi
CourtMississippi Supreme Court





¶ 1. In July 2014, a Jackson County jury found Dominic C. Robinson guilty of three counts of aggravated assault, and he was sentenced to serve a total of thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Robinson now appeals his convictions, arguing that the trial court erred in its evidentiary rulings and instructions to the jury and that his convictions are not supported by the weight of the evidence. In addition to those issues, which were raised by the Office of Indigent Appeals, Robinson has filed a pro se supplemental brief raising eleven additional assignments of error. Finding no reversible error, we affirm Robinson's convictions and sentences.


¶ 2. On March 5, 2011, Robinson told his girlfriend, Mary Adams, that he was going to a rap concert in Moss Point that night. Adams described Robinson as having braids, a moustache, and a goatee on the night in question. After Robinson left for the concert, Adams did not see him again until three days later, at which point he had shaved off his goatee.1

¶ 3. Between the late evening hours of March 5, 2011, and the early morning hours of March 6, 2011, Robinson attended a concert by rapper Lil Phat at the Creme De La Creme nightclub in Moss Point. The club had hired several members of Showtime Security to serve as security guards for the event. Jonathan Woods was assigned to stand inside the front door of the club and make sure that concert-goers paid before they entered. Darius Wright, Carmen Thompson, and Jonathan's wife Jessica Woods were working just outside the front door, securing the line into the club and searching concert-goers as they entered. Charles Tyler White was assigned to the door of the club's VIP room.

¶ 4. During the concert, Robinson attempted to enter the club's VIP room, which was reserved for guests with VIP passes. White did not allow Robinson to enter the VIP room because he did not have a pass. White described Robinson as having dreadlocks and a goatee and wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. Robinson returned to the VIP area a second time, and White again denied him entry. At this point, Robinson became irate and tried to push his way past White. White responded by restraining Robinson and physically removing him from the nightclub.

¶ 5. In the parking lot, Robinson spoke with security guard Darius Wright, who had known Robinson for about fifteen years. Wright also described Robinson as having braided hair and a goatee and wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. Robinson told Wright that he was allowed to re-enter the club, so Wright searched him and let him back in.2 However, Robinson was escorted back out of the club just a few minutes later. Robinson asked Wright for the name of the man who had kicked him out of the club and wanted to know when his shift ended, stating, "I'm going to get him [security guard Charles Tyler White]. I want to know what time he get off." Wright would not give Robinson this information, so Robinson and his brother Darold Payne left the parking lot.

¶ 6. Later that night, Robinson approached the nightclub and tried to enter a third time. At this point, Wright was opening the tailgate of a truck parked near the club's entrance in an effort to prevent people from cutting through the line into the club. Wright noticed that Robinson had changed his shirt since the last time he had seen him. Robinson walked over to Wright, and Wright asked him to leave the club. Wright was standing on the side of the truck nearest the entrance to the club, and Robinson was standing on the other side. At this time, Damion Kimble approached Wright and began talking to Robinson. Kimble stated at trial that he had known Robinson all his life. Robinson told Kimble not to go into the nightclub, so Kimble turned around and left.

¶ 7. Wright spoke with Robinson and tried to get him to leave, but Robinson was unwilling to do so. Wright then turned away from Robinson to go back to his station at the front door of the club. At this point, Carmen Thompson saw Robinson draw a handgun and point it at the front of the nightclub. Thompson yelled "Gun!" and tackled Wright out of Robinson's line of sight. Wright then glanced around and saw Robinson shooting at Jonathan and Jessica Woods. According to Wright, Thompson drew her pistol and fired a shot that hit the truck's tailgate, causing Robinson to turn and run. Thompson, however, denied firing her weapon. After the shooting stopped, Wright called 911 and remained at the scene until an ambulance arrived.

¶ 8. Jonathan Woods was shot once in the buttocks; the bullet passed through his pelvis and lodged itself at the base of his spine. Jessica Woods was shot a total of five times in the chest, back, hips, and legs. The gunshots to her chest injured her spine

and left her paralyzed from the chest down. Three nightclub patrons, Ara Osgood, Anquaneshia Thomas, and Dawonshea Wells, were shot in their right legs.

¶ 9. Detective Johnny Jefferson with the Moss Point Police Department responded to a call of reported gunshots at the nightclub at around 2:50 a.m. on March 6, 2011. He arrived to find a chaotic scene, with people running out of the building and into the parking lot. Detective Jefferson saw Jonathan lying on his stomach in the club's entryway, and Jessica was being treated in a nearby ambulance.3 Later, Detective Jefferson traveled to Singing River Hospital and spoke to the nightclub patrons who had sustained gunshot wounds


¶ 10. Detective J.D. Savage with the Moss Point Police Department arrived at the nightclub as other police officers were securing the scene. The police located twelve nine-millimeter bullet casings in the parking lot, which were collected and photographed. Bullet fragments were found near the entrance to the nightclub and inside near the bar, and there were four bullet holes in the glass door at the front of the club. After leaving the nightclub, Detective Savage went to the hospital and spoke with Jonathan, Osgood, Wells, and Thomas. He did not speak with Jessica because she was in surgery at the time.

¶ 11. Robinson's brother Darold Payne initially was identified as a possible suspect in the shooting, but he was ruled out after Detective Savage spoke with Wright, who identified Robinson as the shooter. Wright also identified Robinson from a six-person photographic lineup. Robinson turned himself in to the Pascagoula Police Department on March 9, 2011. Detective Savage went to Pascagoula to speak with Robinson, but Robinson refused to talk until his attorney arrived. Robinson's attorney never showed up, and Robinson was transferred to the Moss Point Police Department several days later. Robinson never gave a statement to the police.

¶ 12. On August 21, 2012, a Jackson County grand jury indicted Robinson on five counts of aggravated assault.4 Robinson's trial was held on July 14–16, 2014. At the conclusion of the State's case-in-chief, the trial court granted Robinson a directed verdict as to Count III (Thomas) and Count IV (Wells), finding that the State had failed to present sufficient evidence to support those charges.5 Robinson then testified in his own defense. Robinson admitted that he had attended the concert at the Creme De La Creme nightclub on the night in question. He also admitted that he had been thrown out of the club, but he claimed that he had been mistaken for another person. Robinson testified that, after being thrown out of the club, he left and drove to Mobile, where he sold music CDs over the weekend. Robinson then went to his grandmother's house. Robinson contended that he had not owned a gun since 2008 or 2009 and did not know how to fire a gun. Robinson believed that Tommy Landrum, the owner of Showtime Security, was trying to pin the shooting on him to cover up the fact that the security guards had "jumped" him for no reason.

¶ 13. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Robinson guilty of the remaining three counts of aggravated assault (Counts I, II, and V). The trial court sentenced Robinson to serve concurrent sentences of twenty years for Counts I and II. The trial court also sentenced Robinson to serve a sentence of twenty years for Count V, to run consecutively to the sentences in Count I and II, and with ten years in Count V suspended and five years of post-release supervision, for a total of thirty (30) years to serve.

¶ 14. Robinson, now represented by the Office of Indigent Appeals, appeals his convictions to this Court, raising the following issues:

I. Whether the trial court erred in granting Instruction S–14A.
II. Whether the trial court erred in excluding Exhibit D–1.
III. Whether the State impermissibly commented on Robinson's post- Miranda silence.
IV. Whether the verdicts were against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

In addition, Robinson has filed a pro se supplemental brief6 raising eleven additional issues, which we reorganize and restate as follows:

V. Whether Robinson was denied effective assistance of counsel.
VI. Whether the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct during Robinson's trial.
VII. Whether the State violated Robinson's due-process rights by delaying his indictment.
VIII. Whether the State failed to preserve exculpatory evidence.
IX. Whether the State knowingly introduced false, incompetent, and inflammatory evidence, resulting in an unfair trial.
X. Whether the trial court erred in limiting Robinson's cross-examination of Damion Kimble.
XI. Whether the State violated Robinson's right to a

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    ...of the State's witness, the prosecutor on rebuttal is unquestionably entitled to elaborate on the matter." Robinson v. State , 247 So. 3d 1212, 1230 (Miss. 2018) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Crenshaw v. State , 520 So. 2d 131, 133 (Miss. 1988) ). There was no prosecutorial mi......
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1 books & journal articles
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    • South Dakota Law Review Vol. 66 No. 3, March 2021
    • March 22, 2021
    ...1987)); Roberts v. Mississippi, 234 So. 3d 1251, 1268 (Miss. 2017) (applying the strict two- prong test); Robinson v. Mississippi, 247 So. 3d 1212, 1233-34 (Miss. 2018) (same). Missouri Missouri v. Scott, 621 S.W.2d 915, 917 (Mo. 1981) (citing United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307,323(1971)......

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