Frankie T. Jones v. State of Mississippi – Batson – Jones was convicted of murdering Billy Ray Covington. In July of 2015, Jones invited Ashley Hobson and Hannah Walls to
his camper trailer in Pittsboro to do drugs. They spent the evening drinking, doing drugs, and shooting a gun. The next morning Jones and Hobson set out to get more drugs. On the drive they encountered Covington. Jones said he owed Covington some drugs and they invited him to ride along. Jones and Covington got into an argument. They got out of the car and Hobson heard a shot and saw Jones shoot Covington in the back of the head. On appeal he raises a Batson issue – the State used four of its first five peremptory strikes to eliminate three potential African American jurors and one Middle-Eastern juror – and a sufficiency of the evidence issue. He also argues that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request a cautionary instruction regarding accomplice testimony. The MSSC affirms.