Thornton v. State, 48370

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtROBERTSON
Citation313 So.2d 16
PartiesJames Edward THORNTON v. STATE of Mississippi.
Docket NumberNo. 48370,48370
Decision Date19 May 1975

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313 So.2d 16
James Edward THORNTON
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 48370.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
May 19, 1975.

Swep S. Taylor, Jr., Jackson, for appellant.

A. F. Summer, Atty. Gen., by Ben H. Walley, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.



James Edward Thornton was indicted, tried and convicted in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, of the crime of rape. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary. From his conviction and sentence, Thornton appeals.

The prosecutrix shared an apartment with a fellow woman student at 803 Belhaven Street, Jackson, Mississippi. The prosecutrix was a student at Millsaps College and a practice teacher at Bailey Junior High School. The prosecutrix and her roommate had studied until 11:50 P.M. on January 30, 1973, when her roommate left to spend the night with her friend in the adjoining apartment.

The prosecutrix took a bath, put on her nightgown, and went to bed. She turned off all the lights in the apartment except the ceiling light in the living room. There had been hung over the light a thin cotton tapestry which made the light more subdued and less harsh. She heard a sound and went from the dedroom, through the living room, and into the kitchen to lock the back door.

Returning to her bed, she couldn't go to sleep. A little later she again heard noises coming from the kitchen and got up. She walked from the bedroom into the living room and turned to go into the kitchen. A man jumped out of the kitchen shadows and threw a coat over her head. She started screaming and her assailant tightened the coat over her head and over her mouth, and told her that he would kill her if she were not quiet. She testified that she was very much afraid, could hardly breathe through the coat and hand over her mouth, and she did quit screaming. Her assailant half-dragged and half-carried her back into the bedroom, forced her down on the bed, and raped her.

Just before he put a pillow over her face, she got a profile view of his face. After the attack, her assailant fled by way of the back door to the apartment.

At the trial, the prosecutrix gave a definite and positive description of her assailant, described the clothes that he was

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wearing and positively and unequivocally identified the appellant as the man who had attacked her. She stated that she had gotten a good view of her assailant as the ceiling light in the living room shone over her shoulder and full in his face just before he threw his coat over her head; she had also gotten a good profile view just before he attacked her. She picked his picture out of a stack of pictures exhibited to her, and she picked him out of a lineup on February 1, 1973, the day after the attack on her.

She identified a coat, taken from the home of the defendant and introduced at the trial, as being identical to the one thrown over her head. She also identified a pair of trousers, taken from his home and introduced at the trial, as being of the same type and texture as the ones worn by her assailant the night she was assaulted.

Dr. Tom S. Cooper testified that he examined the prosecutrix at 2:45 A.M. on January 31, 1973, and...

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6 cases
  • Young v. Herring, 84-4365
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • November 26, 1985
    ...we confine ourselves to objections made to evidence in the trial court, regarding all other objections as waived."); Thornton v. State, 313 So.2d 16, 18 (Miss.1975) ("This Court has long held that to preserve error concerning the admission of evidence at trial there must be contemporaneous ......
  • Mhoon v. State, 55645
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 13, 1985 way alters the established rule of evidence which permits cross-examination of any witness as to previous convictions. Thornton v. State, 313 So.2d 16 (Miss.1975); Miss.Code Ann. Sec. 13-1-13 (1972). Appellant's prior burglary convictions were not introduced in order to establish aggrava......
  • Williamson v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • April 13, 1976 order to preserve the point as error on appeal. Baker v. State, 327 So.2d 288 (Miss. handed down February 10, 1976); Thornton v. State, 313 So.2d 16 (Miss.1975); Ratliff v. State, 313 So.2d 386 (Miss.1975); Pittman v. State, 297 So.2d 888 (Miss.1974); Myers v. State, 268 So.2d 353 (Miss.......
  • Gill v. State, 56123
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 5, 1986
    ...were for the jury to resolve. This Court does not reverse criminal cases solely on disputed issues of fact. Thornton v. State, 313 So.2d 16, 18 (Miss.1975). As cited in Gandy v. State, 373 So.2d 1042, 1045 ... Jurors are permitted, indeed have the duty, to resolve the conflicts in the testi......
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