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Court rejects robber’s appeal

The Mississippi Court of Appeals has rejected a Lincoln Countyman’s arguments that testimony from his February 2003 trial wasinsufficient to support a guilty verdict.

Last February, Sylvester “Velp” Williams, 29, of Brookhaven, wasconvicted of robbery in a March 29, 2002, incident involving EarlVader Gibson. Williams was sentenced to 15 years in prison andordered to serve the first five years, with the sentenceconsecutive to another sentence he was serving at the time.

On appeal, Williams asserted that Judge Keith Starrett shouldhave grant a defense motion for judgment notwithstanding theverdict.

Williams argued that there was no physical evidence to link himto the crime and that Gibson’s testimony was not enough to supporta guilty verdict. Gibson had testified that he knew Williams andcould easily identify him.

The appeals court, in a ruling handed down Tuesday, foundWilliams’ argument without merit. The court disagreed with thedefense argument about the sufficiency of the evidence and addedthat jurors found Gibson to be a credible witness.

“The court will reverse only when reasonable and fair-mindedjurors could find the accused not guilty,” the court said.”Furthermore, it has long been a rule in Mississippi that it iswithin the discretion of the jury to accept or reject testimony bya witness, and the jury ‘may give consideration to all inferencesflowing from the testimony.'”