Supreme Court denies retrial for man convicted of armed robbery

Published 1:55 am Friday, February 2, 2018

NATCHEZ — The Mississippi Supreme Court refused Thursday to reconsider the case of a man convicted of a December 2014 armed robbery incident in which the victim was killed.

In November 2017, the court upheld the conviction of Eddie Minor, who was found guilty of armed robbery and sentenced to 35 years in prison in the Sixth District Circuit Court of Adams County back in August 2016.

Minor, who was just 18 years old at the time, had also been charged for the murder of 16-year-old Jessie Elbert Taylor, but that charge resulted in a hung jury, and the state decided not to pursue that charge any further.

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Following his conviction, Minor disputed that the decision relied upon uncorroborated testimony from Emmanuel Latham, Minor’s cohort also tried for armed robbery and murder.

While Minor questioned the weight of the evidence presented against him, the court’s November decision cites a lack of any compelling argument for reversing the decision.

“Although Minor argues that critical facts were directly contradicted in this case, we find any inconsistencies in testimony insufficient to warrant a reversal of Minor’s conviction,” the decision reads.

According to court documents, Latham testified that he and Minor were approached by Taylor, who Latham said asked Minor for synthetic marijuana. Latham said when the three went to retrieve the marijuana, Minor instructed Taylor to wait on the porch. Afterward, Latham testified, Minor retrieved two guns, handed one to Latham and proceeded to rob Taylor.

Latham said after Taylor had handed over all the money he had, Taylor began to briskly walk away when Minor grabbed Taylor by the back of his shirt and instructed Taylor to hand over the gun at his hip.

Latham continued that Minor reached for Taylor’s gun, prompting a “tussle” between the two. As Taylor began to walk away briskly, Minor fired a shot near Taylor’s legs, according to Latham’s testimony.

Taylor began to run and appeared to attempt to pull out his weapon, Latham said.

According to the testimony, Minor fired a shot that struck Taylor’s backside, with Taylor firing a shot in return without turning around. Latham said after the return fire seemingly neared his head, Latham emptied his magazine while Minor also continued shooting.

Taylor maintained consciousness to describe what happened to a police officer before he passed out and never regained consciousness, according to court documents.

Thursday’s refusal to reconsider the decision means the conclusion reached in November will stand.

“Because the evidence sufficiently supported Minor’s conviction and because the verdict was not against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, we affirm Minor’s conviction of armed robbery,” the conclusion reads.