Holmes Co. man loses appeal of murder conviction

The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected

arguments from Everett Boyd that he should get a new trial because

law enforcement officers failed to find a murder weapon he

allegedly used in a drive-by shooting.

Boyd was convicted in 2006 in Holmes County in the shooting

death of Michael O'Neal outside O'Neal's home in Lexington.

Boyd was sentenced to life in prison for murder and to a

concurrent 10-year term for shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Prosecutors contend Boyd fired two shots at O'Neal with the

second bullet entering a bedroom window. The second bullet was

found by O'Neal's girlfriend and turned over to police.

No firearm, bullets or casings were found at the scene,

according to the court record.

Boyd was identified as the shooter by two men who testified that

they saw Boyd talking with O'Neal, saw Boyd get back in his car and

fire two shots out of the window.

O'Neal's girlfriend, who was inside the house, testified that

she recognized Boyd's voice during an argument with O'Neal shortly

before the shooting.

An autopsy showed O'Neal was shot with a .45-caliber handgun.

The second .45-caliber bullet was found in the home's bedroom wall

by the girlfriend, who turned it over to police.

Another witness testified that he found a 9 mm Luger handgun on

the seat of Boyd's car.

A forensic expert testified that a .45 caliber round could not

be fired from a nine-millimeter handgun which had belonged to

O'Neal.

On appeal, Boyd said prosecutors failed to show that he had

possession of the murder weapon.

However, there was testimony at the trial that Boyd was seen

putting a gun down inside his car, according to court documents.

The Supreme Court said there was sufficient testimony to show

Boyd shot O'Neal.

"Thus, the absence of any evidence to establish that Boyd

possessed the particular caliber weapon used to shoot O'Neal is

irrelevant," Justice Jess H. Dickinson wrote in Thursday's

decision.