Are Evidence of Prior Convictions Admissible In Mississippi ?
Evidence of prior involvement in the drug trade is admissible under M.R.E. 404(b) to prove intent to distribute if it passes the M.R.E. 403 filter and is accompanied by a limiting instruction. See Holland v. State, 656 So. 2d 1192, 1196 (Miss. 1995); Swington v. State, 742 So. 2d 1106, 1111 (Miss. 1999).
Evidence of prior convictions is also admissible under M.R.E. 404(b) to prove intent to distribute in subsequent sales by the defendant. See Swington v. State, 742 So. 2d 1106, 1111 (Miss. 1999); Mitchell v. State, 754 So. 2d 519, (Miss. Ct. App. Nov., 1999).
As stated, the trial judge found that the June 14th sale and May 14th conviction were relevant under M.R.E. 404 (b) to show "intent or plan as part of this whole transaction".
Further, the trial judge expressly considered Rule 403 and granted a limiting instruction which was given to the jury in the form of a jury instruction. We find that the trial court did not err in admitting the evidence of prior criminal acts under rule 404(b).