Jackson man loses appeal of murder conviction

Published 3:40 pm Friday, October 26, 2007

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the murder conviction of Marcus Chandler, who had claimed he shot Anthony Johnson in self-defense.

Chandler was sentenced to life in prison after his conviction in 2003 in Hinds County.

The state Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and sentence in 2006.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

According to the court record, the shooting occurred outside a Jackson convenience store after the two men had fought over Johnson’s claim that drugs were missing from his car. He alleged Chandler stole the drugs, court documents showed.

Prosecutors said Chandler parked behind Johnson’s car, walked up to it and fired 16 rounds from an assault rifle into it, killing Johnson.

In his appeal, Chandler claimed Johnson was the aggressor and he shot Johnson in self-defense.

“Though Johnson may have been the aggressor during the fistfight, more is required prior to use of deadly force in self-defense,” said the Court of Appeals.

The Appeals Court said there was contradictory testimony over whether Johnson was armed at the time of the shooting.

What was clear, the court said, was that Chandler armed himself, drove to the store and intentionally killed Johnson.

“Whatever occurred earlier, that fight was over and the jury could find that Chandler was in no imminent danger from Johnson. Johnson’s back was to Chandler when he was killed. There was an ample supply of evidence that Chandler had no basis to believe he was acting in necessary self-defense,” the Appeals Court said.