Johnson v. MississippiAnnotate this Case
In March 2015, James White was shot and killed in Brad Reed’s house in Clay County, Mississippi. A jury ultimately found Johnson guilty of first-degree murder, and the trial court sentenced him to a term of life imprisonment. At the close of the State’s case-in-chief, Johnson unsuccessfully moved for a directed verdict challenging the sufficiency of the State’s evidence. Johnson filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, alternatively, a new trial. The trial court denied that motion too. On appeal, Johnson argued: (1) the trial court erred by denying his motion challenging the sufficiency of the evidence; (2) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury; (3) his grand jury indictment was improper; and (4) his jury verdict form was erroneous. After review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found sufficient evidence was presented to support Johnson’s murder conviction; the indictment sufficiently notified Johnson of the charged crime, and the jury was properly instructed. Accordingly, Johnson’s conviction and sentence were affirmed.