Appeals Court to hear appeal in woman’s death

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The state Court of Appeals will hear an appeal from a 45-year-old Columbus man sentenced to life in prison for killing his girlfriend.

Floyd Robinson was convicted in Oktibbeha County in 2007 of murder in the shooting death of Bridget Moore, 43, on Nov. 29, 2005.

Robinson’s case is among dozens the Appeals Court will consider during the November-December term.

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According to court documents, Robinson was arrested following a seven-hour standoff with police in which he barricaded himself in his home in Columbus and was ultimately forced out by Starkville and Columbus police SWAT officers using tear gas.

Moore was found inside her Starkville home by a sheriff’s deputy, who had gone there at the request of Moore’s family.

Authorities said Moore was last seen alive on Nov. 29 after returning from a basketball game in Noxubee County with her family.

Prosecutors said Moore’s shooting occurred during an argument with Robinson.

Defense attorneys contended the shooting may have occurred during a fight over the gun and was an accident.

The Appeals Court also will hear the appeal of Willie Prater, who was convicted in 2006 in Oktibbeha County for his role in the beating death of a Starkville woman.

Prater was one of five people charged in the August 2001 beating death of Juanita Miller. Prather was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors said Miller was found severely beaten inside her home by Starkville firefighters responding to a fire report. Her husband was not home at the time. She later died at a Columbus hospital.

Prosecutors said the fire was started to cover up her slaying. They said money was missing from the house.

In another case, the Appeals Court will consider the appeal of a Jackson trucker driver convicted in 2007 in Hinds County for killing another motorist while driving drunk.

Jaison Harness was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with 10 years suspended, and five years probation.

Harness was convicted in the death of Clyde Hampton, 51, in a two-vehicle accident on a Jackson street.

Prosecutors said Harness’ blood alcohol content was 0.11 percent about four hours after the crash. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent is considered legally intoxicated in Mississippi.

Prosecutors said a bottle of brandy was found on the floorboard of Harness’ vehicle.

Harness denied he had been drinking, but during his sentencing he offered no explanation for the presence of alcohol in his blood, according to the court record.