Williams v. State, No. 53946

CourtMississippi Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtDAN M. LEE; PATTERSON
Citation440 So.2d 312
PartiesWillie B. WILLIAMS v. STATE of Mississippi.
Docket NumberNo. 53946
Decision Date09 November 1983

Page 312

440 So.2d 312
Willie B. WILLIAMS
v.
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 53946.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
Nov. 9, 1983.

Page 313

John H. Anderson, Hattiesburg, for appellant.

Bill Allain, Atty. Gen. by Bill Patterson and Anita Mathews Stamps, Sp. Asst. Attys. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

Before BROOM, P.J., and DAN M. LEE and PRATHER, JJ.

DAN M. LEE, Justice, for the Court:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of Jefferson Davis County wherein the appellant, Willie B. Williams, was found guilty of manslaughter, a violation of Mississippi Code Annotated Sec. 97-3-47 (1972).

On December 1, 1980, Teresa Coulter and her friend, Kathy Pace, were returning to their homes in Prentiss from a day of Christmas shopping in Hattiesburg. Ahead of them, in another car, were Teresa's parents who had accompanied them shopping. Teresa testified that about 8:30 p.m. they were traveling on Highway 42 and had just left a four-way stop at the intersection of Highway 35 when a car driven by Willie B. Williams approached from the other direction and crossed over into their lane. The cars collided head-on and Kathy Pace was killed. Teresa could not estimate Williams' speed, but did testify that he was "traveling fast." She first testified that there were no other cars on the road at the time of the accident, but she later admitted that she hadn't really noticed.

Teresa's father, Wiley Coulter, testified that Williams' car passed him at a high rate of speed and was at that time veering to the center of the road. Watching in his rearview mirror Wiley Coulter saw his daughter's headlights go out and knew there had been an accident. He and his wife turned around and went back a few hundred yards to where the cars had collided. Coulter testified that there were no other vehicles on the road at the time of the accident.

Officer Pat Cronin of the Mississippi Highway Patrol testified that he was called to the scene of the accident and there spoke with Williams. Officer Cronin testified that at that time he smelled alcohol on Williams' breath and that Williams' speech was slurred. Officer Cronin took Williams to the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff's Department where Officer Ronald Jones administered a photoelectric intoximeter test which revealed that Williams' blood alcohol content was .177. Officer Jones also testified that Williams' speech was slurred and that he had alcohol on his breath.

Willie B. Williams took the stand in his own defense. He testified that as he approached the intersection of Highways 35 and 42, there was an 18-wheel truck moving very slowly, or not at all, ahead of him in his lane. Williams said he hit his brakes and that his wheels froze, causing him to skid into the other lane and the path of

Page 314

Teresa Coulter's oncoming car. Williams further testified that he had been deer hunting and had split three or four ounces of rum with someone whose name he could not recall approximately one hour to an hour and one-half before the accident. He denied driving over 50 mph.

Linda Buckley, a waitress in a restaurant on the corner of Highways 35 and 42, testified that she was at work on the night of the accident. She testified that she heard a noise and looked out the window two minutes later and saw a big truck driving by. She could not describe the truck other than to say it was moving slowly. Williams' wife, Margaret,...

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2 practice notes
  • Gossett v. State, No. 92-KA-00413-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 17 August 1995
    ...exhaustively established by every other witness Page 1297 who testified for the State. Id. at 566. The trial court in Williams v. State, 440 So.2d 312, 314 (Miss.1983,) admitted a hospital record regarding the victim's cause of death without presenting as a witness at trial the physician wh......
  • Moffett v. State, No. 58287
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 27 February 1989
    ...negligence, we hold that a jury issue was made on this question. See Gibson v. State, 503 So.2d 230 (Miss.1987); Williams v. State, 440 So.2d 312 (Miss.1983); Gandy v. State, 373 So.2d 1042 (Miss.1979). However, because we find that two assignments of error raised by Moffett have merit, we ......
2 cases
  • Gossett v. State, No. 92-KA-00413-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 17 August 1995
    ...exhaustively established by every other witness Page 1297 who testified for the State. Id. at 566. The trial court in Williams v. State, 440 So.2d 312, 314 (Miss.1983,) admitted a hospital record regarding the victim's cause of death without presenting as a witness at trial the physician wh......
  • Moffett v. State, No. 58287
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 27 February 1989
    ...negligence, we hold that a jury issue was made on this question. See Gibson v. State, 503 So.2d 230 (Miss.1987); Williams v. State, 440 So.2d 312 (Miss.1983); Gandy v. State, 373 So.2d 1042 (Miss.1979). However, because we find that two assignments of error raised by Moffett have merit, we ......

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