Jury denies self-defense claim, finds felon guilty of possessing gun

Published 11:58 pm Friday, August 19, 2011

A Vicksburg man was found guilty of possession of a weapon after felony conviction after a trial in Warren County Circuit Court Monday.

Christopher Galloway, 37, 1402 Maulding St., Apt. C., is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 2 by presiding Judge M. James Chaney.

Evidence presented at the one-day trial showed that a .38-caliber handgun had been found in a dresser drawer at Galloway’s home, said District Attorney Ricky Smith.

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Galloway, who testified in his own defense, claimed that his home had been robbed in the past and he obtained the gun to protect his family, said Smith.

Galloway, arrested Feb. 25, had been convicted in March 2001 for possession of cocaine, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison, police said.

Assistant District Attorney Lane Campbell prosecuted the case, assisted by legal intern Bert Carraway. Galloway was defended by Vicksburg attorney Eugene Perrier. The jury was selected Monday morning.

Galloway faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, Smith said.

Also in Warren County Circuit Court the week ending Friday:

• Joseph Matthew Baggett, 19, 65 Baggett Drive, pleaded guilty to seven counts of auto burglary and was sentenced by Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick to five years of probation, plus a $1,000 fine, $3,595 in restitution and $322.50 in court costs. Baggett was arrested Sept. 15.

• Emmerson Byrd, 52, 417 Farmer St., pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced by Chaney to the Ninth Circuit Drug Court Program for a period not to exceed five years, plus a $5,000 fine and $1,297.50 in court costs and fees. Byrd was arrested Feb. 22, 2010.

• Darren Johnson, 30, street address unavailable, Port Gibson, was found guilty of violating probation and sentenced by Chaney to six months in jail, plus $2,595 in past due fines, fees and restitution. Johnson was arrested Oct. 19, 2000, for burglary of a dwelling and grand larceny.

• Richard Johnson, 21, 1518 Ethel St., was found guilty of violating the terms of his previous sentence and sentenced by Chaney to five years in prison followed by five years of probation, plus $1,322.50 in fines and costs. Johnson was arrested May 7, 2008 for burglary of a dwelling.

•Javell D. Mason, 21, 2008 Pearl St., pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced by Patrick to five years of probation, plus a $2,000 fine and $622.50 in costs and fees. Mason was arrested July 14, 2010.

• Virginia Rees Tyler, 25, 225 Sea Island Drive, Eagle Lake, pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering a forgery and was sentenced by Patrick to Drug Court for a period not to exceed five years, plus a $2,000 fine, $1,440 in restitution and $997.50 in fees and costs. Tyler was arrested July 5.

Also, additional indictments handed down by the July term of the Warren County Grand Jury were made public following the arraignment of the defendants in court.

Those indicted along with the formal charges and offense dates were:

• Lukeshia Cottrell, 35, 10145 Mississippi 22, Bolton — embezzlement, between November and Dec. 31, 2009.

• Oliver James Hickman, 47, 1327 Bay St. — shoplifting, third offense, March 26.

• Elliott Reed, 30, 307 Cooper Drive — sale of a controlled substance, May 23.

• Dennis Edwin Richie, 36, 1033 Mott Headley Road, Port Gibson — possession of precursor substances, Feb. 17.

• Crystal Latoya Willliams, 23, 1517 China Grove Road — two counts possession of a controlled substance, April 6.

The Warren County Grand Jury was convened July 25. They reviewed evidence against 135 defendants in 123 cases, issuing indictments in 100 of the cases and returning no-bills, meaning not enough evidence to go to trial, in 26 cases involving 22 defendants. One case was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Indictments are usually not made public until defendants have been arraigned in circuit court, formally advised of the charges against them and given a court date.

Most indictments were made public July 28 and 29.

The grand jury is convened four times a year in Warren County. The next term will begin Oct. 31.

In Sharkey County Circuit Court for the week ending Friday:

• Alex Jennings Sr., 40, 505 Pine St., Rolling Fork, was found guilty of violating probation and sentenced by Circuit Judge M. James Chaney to six months in jail plus $644 in past due fines, fees and restitution. Jennings was arrested July 29, 2009 for burglary of a business.