Miss. Supreme Court overturns new trial ordered in Lafayette Co. assault case

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JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi Supreme Court has reinstated Anthony Carothers' assault conviction in a Lafayette County case.

The justices Thursday overturned an order of the state Court of Appeals, which last fall ordered a new trial for Carothers who was convicted in a 2011 assault of his half-sister and was sentenced serve 10 years in prison.

The Appeals Court had found the trial judge erred in allowing prosecutors to treat Sheena Carothers as a hostile witness so they could question her more aggressively than usually allowed. It said review of Sheena's testimony showed no hostile behavior.

But the Supreme Court said the elements of surprise or unexpected hostility are an acceptable basis for allowing a party to impeach its own witness.

Prosecutors said the testimony corroborated their theory of the case.

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