Assigned on Briefs June 3, 2014
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Chester County No. 12CR-68 Nathan B. Pride, Judge.
Kandi Kelley Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Paul Edward Martin, Jr.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Benjamin C. Mayo, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Camille R. McMullen, J., joined. Jeffrey S. Bivins, J., Not Participating.
ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE
The defendant was indicted for especially aggravated kidnapping, carjacking, and aggravated robbery, as a result of his approaching the seventy-three-year-old victim, Charlotte Kast, in her driveway and having her drive him to town.
The proof at trial showed that, on August 8, 2012, the victim was preparing to drive into town to run errands when she was confronted by the defendant, age twenty-eight at the time, in the driveway of her home. The defendant asked the victim if she would give him a ride into town. The victim, who did not know the defendant, was "afraid" but agreed to give him a ride out of the goodness of her heart. When they reached town and stopped at the first traffic signal, the victim expected the defendant to get out but, instead, he asked her to drive him further up the road to Mifflin Avenue.
The victim "started to feel kind of [a] sick scary feeling" and told the defendant that she was supposed to meet her son for lunch. However, she did not feel free to tell the defendant "no, " so she drove on. At Mifflin Avenue, the defendant told the victim to turn on Second Street, which led to a dead end. Once there, the defendant told the victim to stop the car. When she stopped the car, the victim glanced over and noticed that the defendant had a gun propped on his leg. The victim tried to escape several times during the ordeal by grabbing her purse and car keys, but the defendant told her "no." The defendant pointed the gun at the victim and told her to remove her shorts and underwear "because he wanted to see it." The defendant complained that the victim was taking too long to remove her clothes, so he told her "to put [her] shorts and [her] panties back on and to get out of the car." The defendant kept the victim's purse and car keys, and the victim "took off going down the street knocking on a couple of houses" to summon for help. The defendant drove away in the victim's car. The victim recalled that the gun the defendant was armed with was black with a silver stripe down the center of it. She believed it to be a real weapon.
Officer Gary Davidson, a criminal investigator with the Henderson Police Department, explained that the defendant did not help locate the victim's car. Rather, the car was recovered after an individual reported seeing it in a wooded area behind a vacant lot where a house had been burned. The victim's purse was not in the car. However, the defendant later showed the police where he had thrown the purse, and it was found twenty-five to thirty feet in front of the victim's car. Officer Davidson explained that, when they originally went to the area to look for the victim's car, they also conducted a search of the area to look for her purse but missed it because it was "very camouflaged." The gun and car keys were never found. The defendant turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Chief Deputy Mark Griffin of the Chester County Sheriff's Office testified that the defendant agreed to make a statement after being advised of his rights. In his statement, the defendant admitted to, while in possession of a BB gun, "walk[ing] up to a woman who was getting into her car" and asking her for a ride into town. As they were in the car, he noticed that the victim's purse was on the floor board of the car. He
figured there was some money in it. I had the gun in my lap. The right side of the BB gun was damaged so I held it so that she couldn't see the damage because she would have known that the gun wasn't real.
I told her to empty her pockets. She had on some shorts. She said she didn't have anything. I told her to get out. She did. I took her car and drove it back to a ...