ALEXANDER v. STATENo. 89-KA-0948.
610 So.2d 320 (1992)
Stephanie Lynn ALEXANDER
STATE of Mississippi.
STATE of Mississippi.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
September 10, 1992.
Rehearing Denied January 21, 1993.
Gerald W. Chatham, Sr., Hernando, for appellant. Michael C. Moore, Atty. Gen., W. Glenn Watts, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.
Before DAN M. LEE, P.J., and PITTMAN, and BANKS, JJ.
PITTMAN, Justice, for the Court:
On January 25, 1988, Stephanie Lynn Alexander, a young college co-ed from Hernando,
In the early morning hours of October 8, 1985, the body of eighteen-year-old freshman Stacey Dianne Pannell was found in her dormitory room at Northeast Mississippi Junior College in Booneville, Mississippi. Pannell's body was discovered by her roommate, Amy Wheeler. Wheeler arrived at her dormitory room and discovered that the door was locked and that Pannell did not answer her knocks. Since she didn't have her key with her, Wheeler knocked on the door of the next room where Alexander lived. Alexander sleepily answered Wheeler's knocks and let her into the room so that Wheeler could pass through the adjoining bathroom of the two rooms and get into her own dormitory room. Upon entering her own dormitory room, Wheeler saw Pannell's partially nude body on a bed. Wheeler approached the bed with Alexander a few inches behind her. Even in the dim light, Wheeler saw blood on the pillow and Pannell's panties pulled down around the knees of both legs. Upset, Wheeler ran out of the room through her own door and into the hallway in order to get help.
Another resident of the dormitory, Belinda Posey, went to check on Pannell at Wheeler's request. Posey found Pannell's door locked again and had to enter through Alexander's room. After seeing Pannell's body, Posey left to find the "dorm mother".
When the "dorm mother", Edna Snyder, went to check on Pannell, she found Pannell's door locked and got a security guard to unlock it for her. Snyder found Pannel's body with the panties around the calf of only one leg.
Investigators documented the scene. Pannell was lying with her back on the bed. She had her left leg resting on the bed and right foot resting on the floor. She was partially covered with bed linens and was nude from the waist down. A pair of panties was pulled down around her lower left leg. A pillow had been placed over her head. Pannell had severe injuries to the left side of her head and there was a great amount of blood on her head and on the pillow next to her head. There were blood splatters throughout the room on the walls and ceiling and as far away as nine (9) feet from the body of Pannell. A drill rifle was lying on the floor with a towel wrapped around the barrel end. There was blood on the stock or handle of the drill rifle. A hole, 8-10 inches long and 8-10 inches wide, had been cut out of the window screen.
Rhoads questioned those around the crime scene. On September 18, 1986, Rhoads questioned Stephanie Lynn Alexander, a suitemate of Pannell. She confessed.
Alexander signed three statements confessing to the killing of Pannell. She signed one statement on September 18, 1986. She signed another statement on September 19 while in the Union County Sheriff's Office in New Albany, Mississippi, giving additional information. While being kept in the Lee County Jail on September 21, she signed a third statement similar to the first two.
On September 21, while in jail, Alexander wrote an eleven-page letter to Randy Price, a boy she had been dating for about a week, in which she confessed to the crime and described the circumstances surrounding the killing. Alexander told Price that she "didn't mean to do it... . It was an accident." She explained to Price that she had been heavily sedated and had had a mental block about the killing. She wrote that she hadn't been able to remember killing Pannell before but had had nightmares about the killing. Alexander told Price that she hadn't known what she was doing at the time.
The gravamen of Alexander's confession is that she was doing homework on October 7, 1985, in her room and took three (3) codeine tablets sometime between 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. because of pain from an ovary infection. Alexander had been out earlier in the evening playing cards and visiting friends, including Tommy Osborne. She walked back to her dorm room alone to do homework. Alexander dozed off after taking the codeine. She woke up around 12:30 a.m. when she heard Pannell and some other girls returning home, which was the adjacent room. The girls were helping Pannell get to her room because she had been drinking. She heard Pannell say, "Tommy O. is so fine I could ____ his brains out." Alexander asked them to be quiet, and the girls helping Pannell left. Alexander couldn't go back to sleep so she went back to Pannell's room to talk. Alexander asked Pannell if she had fun that night. Pannell said she did. They talked about Tommy Osborne whom Pannell had been dating. They talked about a boy Alexander had been dating. They talked about Tommy Osborne again. Pannell asked Alexander what she thought about Tommy Osborne. Alexander said she thought he was "fine." Pannell told Alexander, "You had better stay the hell away from him. I'm tired of you and your ____ing room." Pannell was standing in front of the mirror and pointed her finger in Alexander's face. Alexander mentioned Tommy Osborne again. Pannell slapped Alexander. Alexander called Pannell a "bitch" and slapped her. Pannell told Alexander, "I'd better not see you hanging around him. I'll kill you. Do you hear me?" Pannell slapped Alexander again. Pannell put her hands around Alexander's throat. Alexander kicked her to get her away. Pannell fell onto the bed and started to get up towards Alexander. Alexander had been twirling Pannell's drill rifle while they were talking and had laid it back down against Pannell's bed. Alexander picked up the drill rifle and hit Pannell. Pannell fell back onto the bed. Pannell started towards Alexander again and called her a "____ing bitch." Alexander hit her again with the drill rifle. When Pannell fell back on the bed, Alexander hit her three more times with the drill rifle.
The confession continued. Alexander was "out of it" because of the codeine and