Aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer


In 2003, Andrew Barrett, Florence P.D., saw a silver Caprice run a stop sign at the intersection of Old Highway 49 and Erlich Road. Lt. Barrett stopped the vehicle and asked the driver, Robert Anthony Hubbard, for his license.

Barrett noted that while the passenger was using her seat belt, Hubbard was not. Lt. Barrett requested Hubbard’s license, and Hubbard responded that it was suspended. Officer John Hony and Officer Danny Barnes of the Florence Police Department arrived for backup.

As Officer Hony began to handcuff Hubbard, he shoved Barrett to the ground and ran towards his car. Hubbard dived partially into the car through the open driver’s side window, where his passenger grasped his arms and began pulling him into the vehicle. Hony tugged on Hubbard’s legs as he thrashed about, halfway inside the vehicle.

By the time Barrett joined the officers, Hubbard had managed to climb almost completely into the vehicle and was pressing the accelerator. Hony reached inside the car and fought with Hubbard for control of the gear shift. Barrett testified that he saw a knife inside the car on the floorboard near Hubbard’s hand. Hubbard then wrenched the gear shift, and the vehicle lurched forward six feet before Hony could force the gear into park. Barnes then shot the rear tire of the vehicle.

Officer McCue arrived to provide backup, and Barrett shot the vehicle’s radiator. During the fray McCue and Barnes maced Hubbard in the face; however, Hubbard was able to roll up the window, trapping both Hony’s and Barnes’s arms inside the car. Hubbard put the car in drive and began to leave. Hony was able to free his arm, but Barnes was propelled down the road a few feet before he could escape.

Undeterred by the damaged radiator and tire, Hubbard led the officers in a chase for nearly a mile and a half before the vehicle stopped and the officers arrested Hubbard and his passenger. The officers then learned that the silver Caprice had been stolen three months ago.

Hubbard was convicted of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of stolen property and sentenced to 20 years. On appeal, he argued it was inconsistent for him to be convicted of assaulting Barnes but not Hony, who was standing next to Barnes. MCOA affirmed.


In George, we said that an inconsistent verdict, in and of itself, is insufficient to reverse a criminal conviction.

The U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Powell, 469 U.S. 57  (1984), said that there is no reason to vacate the conviction merely because the verdicts cannot rationally be reconciled. Defendant is given the benefit of his acquittal on the counts on which he was acquitted, and it is neither irrational nor illogical to require him to accept the burden of his conviction on the counts on which the jury convicted.

In Holloman v. State, 656 So. 2d 1134 (Miss. 1995), wherein the defendant was acquitted of the DUI maiming of the occupant of his truck, yet was convicted of the DUI maiming and manslaughter of the occupants of another vehicle, MSC affirmed the conviction.

Regarding the assault charge on which Hubbard was convicted, the State must have proven (1) that under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life (2) Hubbard did purposefully, knowingly or recklessly (3) attempt to cause or caused serious bodily injury to Officer Barnes. See Miss. CodeAnn. §97-3-7(2)(Supp.2005).

The testimony at trial established that Hubbard drove his vehicle with Officer Barnes’s arm trapped in the closed drivers’s side window, evidencing Hubbard’s indifference to human life. Hubbard admitted that he rolled up the window and that he was trying to leave. Finally, there was testimony that the car window ripped the flesh from Officer Barnes’s arm. The evidence was sufficient to support the verdict. This issue is without merit.