Decisions – MSSC – 8/1/2019

Hand down list

Chevelle McAlister v. State of Mississippiineffective assistance of counsel – Chevelle McAlister was convicted of the murder of his brother’s girlfriend  Johnna Norris and of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.  He shot her for no apparent reason after  he, his brother, and Morris were doing methamphetamine.  On appeal he argues that his attorney was ineffective in failing to ask to sever the two indictments or, alternatively, to request a limiting jury instruction concerning the felon-in-possession-of-a firearm charge. He also claims his counsel was ineffective when he did not object to an officer’s testimony  concerning the powdery, white substance that was discovered in McAlister’s pocket. The MSSC affirms.

Bruce Douglas Martin v. State of Mississippiautopsy photos – Bruce Martin was found guilty of second-degree murder in the beating  death of James Dwight Brown, his mother’s girlfriend. On appeal he argues that it was error to allow the jury to see two autopsy photos.  “Martin offered to stipulate the cause of death as blunt-force trauma. Martin had no objections to the pathologist’s testimony about Brown’s death but moved to suppress the photographs because they would result in unfair prejudice. The State argued that it anticipated Martin’s testifying consistently with his previous statements that he only hit Brown a few times and that the pictures would refute that testimony. The trial judge overruled Martin’s objection to the photographs because he found them to be probative as to the cause and manner of death.” The MSSC finds no error and affirms.   

Pro se PCR motions dismissed:

Rodolfo Espinoza v. State of Mississippi

George J. Strickland v. State of Mississippi

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