In 2000, Keith Crawford cut Flavis Sanders’s lawn. Sanders, a 74-year-old single woman, was a retired Humphreys County deputy tax assessor. When Crawford returned the next morning to complete his chores, he knocked on the front door of Sanders’s house. When Sanders failed to respond to his knocks on the door, Crawford looked down to Sanders’s bedroom window and noticed the blind hanging out the window between the top sash and the bottom sash.
When he pulled the window blind up he saw Sanders lying in her bed, facing the window. Suspecting that something was wrong, Crawford ran to Mrs. Clarence Abels’s house, and Pat Abels, along with Crawford, returned to the Sanders home, at which time Abels concluded that Sanders was dead.
Isola Police Chief J. D. Roseman entered the home and went to the bedroom where he found Sanders, whom he believed to be dead, lying in the bed. Roseman noticed blood on the bed sheets around the body in the buttocks area, and he also noticed that the bedside table had been knocked over and medicine bottles were scattered on the floor by the bed.
Further investigation by law enforcement revealed information which began to point toward Oscar Lee “Skip” Glasper as the prime suspect in this homicide investigation. Markelia Ancreneka Ellzey, who knew both Glasper and Sanders, informed Roseman that she had seen Glasper walking up and down the street close to Sanders’s home around 2:00 a.m. that morning.
It was also learned that between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. that morning, an extremely intoxicated Glasper had approached Humphreys County deputy sheriff Randy Lee Blakely’s vehicle outside the Belzoni Police Department and requested that Blakely lock him up for public drunkenness.
Three days later, law enforcement decided to arrest Glasper on an outstanding “peeping Tom” warrant. See Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-61 (Rev. 2000), Mississippi’s voyeurism statute. During the course of the day, Glasper gave three statements to law enforcement officials.
The first statement was a tape recorded statement which commenced at 10:40 a.m. The subsequently prepared transcript of this tape recorded statement consists of 54 pages. A second handwritten statement, consisting of one page, plus two lines on a second page, was taken at 1:25 p.m. The final statement was video taped, and this statement commenced at 4:56 p.m. and concluded at 5:03 p.m. In both the handwritten statement and the video taped statement, Glasper fully confessed to the crimes, but stated that he never intended to do any of this. Glasper stated that at the time of the crimes, he was “out of my mind” due to extreme intoxication from drugs and alcohol.
Six latent fingerprints lifted from Sanders’ bedroom window belonged to Glasper.
He was convicted of capital murder, rape, sexual battery, house burglary and kidnapping and sentenced to life. On appeal, he argued law enforcement promised he would get a lighter sentence if he cooperated. MSC affirmed.
Glasper was given Miranda warnings by law enforcement prior to giving all three statements.
A. Promises of lighter sentence if he cooperated
Glasper argues that during the various times that the tape recorder was cut off, as reflected by the transcript of this recorded statement, law enforcement officials made promises to him of a lighter sentence which are thus not reflected in the transcript.
MSC went through the five times the recorder was turned off and did not find anything of concern. The tape stops were for such things as switching tapes, taking a dip break, etc.
Despite Glasper’s assertions that Frazure induced him to give a confession by making promises to him for a lighter sentence if he cooperated, Frazure’s statements to Glasper evidently had little effect on Glasper, because Glasper continued his denials i.e., “I didn’t do this stuff.”
Our review of the video taped confession in fact reveals that at the beginning of the tape, Chief Deputy Shaw verbally advised Glasper of his Miranda rights and Glasper stated that he understood. Glasper then signed the Miranda rights form and waiver as did the law enforcement officials as witnesses. At the end of the videotaped interview, Glasper, in response to Chief Deputy Shaw’s questions, acknowledged that he had given the statement freely and voluntarily, without any promises, threats or coercion by anyone.
We afford the appropriate deference to the trial judge since he was the ultimate fact finder based on disputed testimony offered at the suppression hearing. And the trial judge, siting as the fact finder, had the sole authority to weigh the credibility of the witnesses and decide in the state’s favor.