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Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds Sentence in Case of ‘Gotcha’ Woman

April 16, 1993

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld a 25-year prison sentence for a would- be rapist whose victim grabbed his groin and wouldn’t let go.

The court rejected 29-year-old Dwight Coverson’s grounds for appeal, which focused on challenges to certain jurors and whether the jury should have heard his confession.

The court’s opinion Thursday included some of the woman’s graphic testimony during the trial three years ago.

She said she was in bed the night of Feb. 3, 1990, when she heard someone walk into the room. The intruder sat on top of her, threatening and cursing as she begged him not to harm her.

Then he took off his clothes and demanded oral sex. The woman, who is in her 50s, said she realized he wasn’t armed, grabbed his penis, twisted and yanked - and held on with one hand. She then grabbed his testicles with the other hand as he hit her and bit her.

″He said, ‘Please, please, you’re killing me.’ ... I said, ’Die, then,‴ she testified. ″He said, ‘Woman, you got me suffering.’ I said, ’Have you thought about how you were going to leave me suffering?‴

He tried to get her to call police, but she refused and, still holding on, got him to her porch, where he fell down. That gave her time to go back into the house and get a pistol. She fired two shots as he ran away, but she missed.

Sheriff’s deputies found Coverson’s name written inside a pair of pants he left in the woman’s bedroom. They found Coverson at home, in bed, in severe pain.

″To say that my client regretted his actions is truly an understatement,″ defense attorney George Luter said. ″He had no permanent damage, but he was definitely hurting for several days.″

It took the jury seven minutes to convict him.

The woman’s testimony was recorded and copies of the voice tape handed out on request.

″We had a lot of requests for copies of the tape. Everyone that I heard mention the tape that has heard it or has requested a copy (had) the viewpoint that this lady deserved a medal,″ said Bobby DeLaughter, a Hinds County prosecutor.

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