Sharp v. State, No. 54525

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtSULLIVAN; PATTERSON; PRATHER
Citation446 So.2d 1008
PartiesHenderson SHARP, Jr. v. STATE of Mississippi.
Decision Date07 March 1984
Docket NumberNo. 54525

Page 1008

446 So.2d 1008
Henderson SHARP, Jr.
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 54525.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
March 7, 1984.

Mose Lee Sudduth, Jr., Columbus, for appellant.

Bill Allain, Atty. Gen. by Robert D. Findley, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

Before ROY NOBLE LEE, P.J., and BOWLING and SULLIVAN, JJ.

SULLIVAN, Justice, for the Court:

Henderson Sharp, Jr. was indicted, tried and convicted in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, for the crime of murder. He received a sentence of life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

The only assignment of error is the admission into evidence of three photographs of the body of the victim, W.E. Davis.

Two of the photographs show the body as it appeared in the morgue and were

Page 1009

introduced through the testimony of the pathologist. The third photograph shows the body at the scene and was introduced through the testimony of a member of the Columbus Police Department.

The incident involved in the cause occurred on July 13, 1982. Sharp was an employee of a construction company engaged in work on a bridge on that date. During the day Sharp was dismissed from his job by the superintendent, W.E. Davis. Sharp then left the site, returning later in the day armed with a shotgun. He fired one shot which struck W.E. Davis. Sharp and Davis then engaged in a struggle which resulted in Davis falling from the bridge and landing in an excavation beneath the bridge. As a result of the gunshot wound, W.E. Davis died.

At the trial, appellant promptly objected to the admission of the photographs when they were offered, and he now argues that by admitting these photographs of the body the trial court abused its discretion as the photographs were gruesome, had no probative value, served no purpose but to inflame the jury and further that the shooting was not denied nor contradicted in any manner. Appellant further argues that the corpus delicti and the identity of the deceased had been established at the time the photographs were introduced. In taking this position, appellant relies upon our decision in Williams v. State, 354 So.2d 266 (Miss.1978).

As a general rule in this state admissibility of photographs rests within the trial court's sound discretion and their admissibility will be upheld absent a showing of abuse of discretion. Ashley v. State, 423 So.2d 1311, 1316 (Miss.1982). However, photographs of the victim should not ordinarily be admitted into evidence...

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26 practice notes
  • Willie v. State, No. 89-DP-1285
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • July 24, 1991
    ...476 U.S. 1164, 106 S.Ct. 2291, 90 L.Ed.2d 732 (1986) (reversal for gruesome and/or cumulative photographs is rare); Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984), vacated on other grounds, 930 F.2d 450 (5th Cir.1991) ("[w]here the evidence weighs so heavily against the appellant and wher......
  • De La Beckwith v. State, Nos. 94-KA-00402-SC
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 22, 1997
    ...unpleasant, they do not appear to be as gruesome as some photographs described in other cases. 551 So.2d at 173. In Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984), we affirmed the admission of photographs of the victim's body because they "did have evidentiary and probative value in that ......
  • Shell v. State, No. 03-DP-0087
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 29, 1989
    ...a killing is not contradicted or denied or the corpus delicti and the identity of the deceased have been established. Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984); Shearer v. State, 423 So.2d 824, 827 (Miss.1982); Williams v. State, 354 So.2d 266, 267 Williams v. State, 544 So.2d 782, 7......
  • McFee v. State, No. 55947
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • July 22, 1987
    ...See also, Watson v. State, 483 So.2d 1326, 1328 (Miss.1986); Stevens v. State, 458 So.2d 726, 729 (Miss.1984); Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984). Yet, photographs which are gruesome or inflammatory and lack an evidentiary purpose are always inadmissible as evidence. Cabello P......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Willie v. State, No. 89-DP-1285
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • July 24, 1991
    ...476 U.S. 1164, 106 S.Ct. 2291, 90 L.Ed.2d 732 (1986) (reversal for gruesome and/or cumulative photographs is rare); Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984), vacated on other grounds, 930 F.2d 450 (5th Cir.1991) ("[w]here the evidence weighs so heavily against the appellant and wher......
  • De La Beckwith v. State, Nos. 94-KA-00402-SC
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 22, 1997
    ...unpleasant, they do not appear to be as gruesome as some photographs described in other cases. 551 So.2d at 173. In Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984), we affirmed the admission of photographs of the victim's body because they "did have evidentiary and probative value in that ......
  • Shell v. State, No. 03-DP-0087
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 29, 1989
    ...a killing is not contradicted or denied or the corpus delicti and the identity of the deceased have been established. Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984); Shearer v. State, 423 So.2d 824, 827 (Miss.1982); Williams v. State, 354 So.2d 266, 267 Williams v. State, 544 So.2d 782, 7......
  • McFee v. State, No. 55947
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • July 22, 1987
    ...See also, Watson v. State, 483 So.2d 1326, 1328 (Miss.1986); Stevens v. State, 458 So.2d 726, 729 (Miss.1984); Sharp v. State, 446 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Miss.1984). Yet, photographs which are gruesome or inflammatory and lack an evidentiary purpose are always inadmissible as evidence. Cabello P......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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