Appeals Court sets first term

By The Associated Press

JACKSON – Christopher Lashon Johnson has appealed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals the denial of his post-conviction petition by a judge in Monroe County in 2009.
The Mississippi Supreme Court in 2008 ruled Johnson could pursue the claim.
In a post-conviction petition an inmate argues he has found new evidence — or a possible constitutional issue — that could persuade a court to order a new trial.
Johnson was convicted in 2004 of murder and sentenced to life in prison for firing into a crowd and killing Jermaine Deloach of Mantee at North Mississippi Motor Sports Racetrack in 2002.
Prosecutors said Johnson reportedly became angry when he didn’t win a trophy during a sound system contest at the racetrack.
Prosecutors say Johnson punched one man and during the ensuing melee fired shots into the crowd. One of the shots hit and killed Deloach. Johnson’s case is among dozens the court will consider during its January-February term. Many cases, like his, will be decided without oral argument.
In another case, attorneys for a Biloxi teenager seeking a new trial in the slaying of his father will present oral arguments during a Jan. 12 hearing before the Mississippi Court of Appeals in Jackson.
Evans was 16 when he was convicted in Harrison County of murder in the April 13, 2007, shooting death of his father, 40-year-old Darold Lee Evans.
Evans was sentenced to life in prison in 2009.
Prosecutors said the teenager shot his father while the man was asleep.
Prosecutors said the youth had moved to Biloxi to live with his father in a FEMA trailer park but decided to kill his father because he was too strict.
Among other cases before the Appeals Court:
n Mark Kee Brown’s appeal of his 2009 conviction in Harrison County for capital murder in the shooting death of D’Iberville resident Larry Darnell Turner in a home invasion. Brown was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
n Andrea McKay’s appeal of her 2009 conviction of murder in the stabbing death of her ex-boyfriends. McKay was sentenced to life in prison in Harrison County in the death of Vincent Weathersby. Prosecutors said McKay admitted she stabbed Weathersby the night of April 21, 2008, but claimed she was aiming for his arm and didn’t mean to kill him.
n Willie Ray Lay’s appeal of his post-conviction petition denied in a Scott County judge in 2010. Lay was convicted of capitol murder in 2000 in the fatal beating of a neighbor Peggy Prestage who prosecutors said caught him burglarizing her home in Forest. Lay was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years for burglary of an occupied dwelling.

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