Kendrick v. State


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Docket Number: 2008-KA-01398-COA

Court of Appeals: Opinion Link
Opinion Date: 11-17-2009
Opinion Author: IRVING, J.
Holding: AFFIRMED

Additional Case Information: Topic: Aggravated assault - Sufficiency of evidence - Medical testimony - M.R.E. 701 - M.R.E. 702 - Circumstantial evidence instruction
Judge(s) Concurring: KING, C.J., LEE AND MYERS, P.JJ., GRIFFIS, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ.
Concur in Part, Concur in Result 1: BARNES, J.
Procedural History: Jury Trial
Nature of the Case: CRIMINAL - FELONY

Trial Court: Date of Trial Judgment: 07-25-2007
Appealed from: SUNFLOWER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
Judge: Betty W. Sanders
Disposition: CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND SENTENCED TO FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WITH THIS SENTENCE TO RUN CONSECUTIVELY TO THE SENTENCE IN RANKIN COUNTY CAUSE NUMBER 12,620
District Attorney: Willie Dewayne Richardson
Case Number: 2006-0237-K

  Party Name: Attorney Name:   Brief(s) Available:
Appellant: JAMES KENDRICK
GEORGE T. HOLMES
 

Appellee: STATE OF MISSISSIPPI OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL: LADONNA C. HOLLAND  
  • Brief

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    Topic: Aggravated assault - Sufficiency of evidence - Medical testimony - M.R.E. 701 - M.R.E. 702 - Circumstantial evidence instruction

    Summary of the Facts: James Kendrick was convicted of aggravated assault and was sentenced to fifteen years. He appeals.

    Summary of Opinion Analysis: Issue 1: Sufficiency of evidence Kendrick argues that there is insufficient evidence to support the verdict against him. However, reasonable jurors could have found that Kendrick stabbed the victim as he walked past Kendrickís cell. It is entirely likely that reasonable jurors concluded that the act of attaching a homemade knife to the end of a crutch and then extending the crutch in the vicinity of a personís head and neck as he walked down a corridor constitutes an attempt at causing bodily injury with a weapon likely to cause serious bodily injury. Issue 2: Medical testimony Kendrick argues that the trial court erred in allowing an investigator with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, to provide ďexpertĒ testimony regarding the injury that the victim sustained as a result of the stabbing. The trial court instructed the investigator to limit his testimony to lay terms and to only testify concerning information that he had learned during his investigation. The trial court further instructed him to refrain from making medical diagnoses or conclusions. He testified that, during the interview, the victim complained that he had trouble speaking and problems with his tongue, and he observed that one side of the victimís tongue appeared to be paralyzed. It is clear that, under M.R.E. 701 and 702, the testimony was opinion testimony, rather than expert testimony, and was not based on scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge. Issue 3: Circumstantial evidence Kendrick argues that the trial court erred in refusing to modify two jury instructions because they do not contain circumstantial evidence language. In situations where the Stateís case is based wholly upon circumstantial evidence, the State is required to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and to the exclusion of every reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence. Even though two instructions did not include circumstantial evidence language, the courtís instruction informed the jury of the circumstantial evidence standard. Thus, the jury instructions, when taken as a whole, fairly and correctly informed the jury of the applicable law.


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