Stevenson v. MississippiAnnotate this Case
Yancy Stevenson was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. On appeal, Stevenson contended the circuit court should have declared a mistrial sua sponte after one of the State’s witnesses testified that Stevenson had said that “he thought somebody was gonna snitch on him and he hate to kill somebody else” and that “he ain’t killed nobody in a long time.” Stevenson’s counsel did not object to this testimony, thus Stevenson also contended he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The Mississippi Supreme Court rejected Stevenson's claims: even if his counsel had objected, the threat was admissible as evidence of Stevenson’s consciousness of guilt, and its probative value was not substantially outweighed by its prejudicial impact. Likewise, the Court found no merit to Stevenson’s contention that this failure to object constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. Stevenson’s conviction and sentence were affirmed.