At 1:30 the COA will hear the case of James McClung, Armond Jones, Sedrick Buchanon v. State of Mississippi (assuming the City doesn’t wash away before then).
A tan colored SUV drove along side of a red Pontiac during the late hours of August 15,
2015. The red car was occupied by D’Alandis Love, Kelsey Jennings, Ken-Norris Stigler, and Perez Love. Multiple shots were fired from the SUV as it drove by killing “D’Alandis Love and wounding the others. Jacarius Keys was the driver of the tan SUV and he gave a videotaped statement to police. On December 28, 2016, Jacarius Keys was killed. The State alleged that Michael Holland, Sedrick Buchanan, Anthony Flowers, Ladan’us
Lemock and Danarius Jackson were involved in Keys’ death.
With key witness Keys dead, the state moved to introduce his videotaped statement at trial. The trial court granted the motion holding that it was admissible because Keys’ death was procured by the defendants. In his statement, Keys claimed
he was traveling with Jones, Buchanan, Holland and Mr. McClung to a lingerie party that was being held at the Moroccan Club. While driving to the party, they were approaching a car when Jones said, “there they are.” Keys testified that Jones always carried a
short AK-47 with him everywhere he went. Without warning, Jones rolled down the window and started shooting at the Red Grand Prix. Keys did not know who was in the car and testified there was never any discussion in the car to shoot D’alandis Love and the other people prior to the shooting. Keys did not even know Holland shot a gun.
Keys denied any prior planning to shoot into the Love automobile, though he knew Love and Jones had a prior problem.
A passenger in the red Pontiac, Ken-Norris Stigler, testified that he saw Armand Jones in the front passenger seat of the tan SUV and saw him shoot Perez Love. He saw Michael Holland in the back with a pistol.
Buchanon argues that there was no evidence implicating him other than an out of court statement given by unavailable witness Jacarius Keys to police that placed Sedrick Buchanan in the vehicle from which shots were fired. Buchanon argues that the admission of this statement was error and denied him the right to confront the witnesses against him.
McClung argues that the admission of Keys’ statements implicating him were inadmissible since there was no evidence that McClung was involved in Keys’ murder.
Jones also argues that it was error to admit the videotaped statement of Keys where there was no opportunity to cross-examine him.
There are other issues as well but the confrontation issue looms large in all three briefs.
Watch the argument here.