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Shipp v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 29, 2014


Assigned on Briefs at Knoxville September 16, 2014

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Maury County No. 20158 Robert L. Jones, Judge

Jacob J. Hubbell, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael J. Shipp.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Kyle E. Dodd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Roger A. Page, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.



I. Facts from Trial

This case stems from the April 1, 2010 shooting death of Howard Baugh in Columbia, Tennessee. See State v. Michael Jarvis Shipp, No. M2011-01876-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 3776678, *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 31, 2012). Petitioner was indicted for first degree premeditated murder and especially aggravated robbery. Id. Because petitioner was seventeen years old at the time of the offenses, the juvenile court had jurisdiction. Id. The juvenile court ordered a psychiatric examination pending trial and granted the State's motion to transfer petitioner's case to the circuit court. Id. Petitioner filed a pre-trial notice of his intent to raise a claim of self-defense. Id.

At trial, the State presented evidence that petitioner shot the victim six times and drove away in the Dodge Charger that the victim had been driving that day. Id. at *1-5. The medical examiner testified that the victim had six gunshot entry wounds, three exit wounds, and blunt force trauma. Id. at *1. The victim's girlfriend, Carissa Stone, and her brother, Charles Stone, both testified about an argument between Ms. Stone and petitioner and petitioner's subsequent shooting of the victim, and this court summarized their testimony as follows:

Carissa Stone testified that the victim was her boyfriend and the father of her son. She told the jury that on April 1, 2010, the victim took her in a black Dodge Charger to Tiffany Conger's house on Morningside Lane to dye Easter eggs. Several adults, including [petitioner], and three children were also present. At some point, Ms. Stone's brother gave her a telephone charger, which she placed on a table. Subsequently, the victim returned to Ms. Conger's home, and Ms. Stone left with him, leaving the charger on the table. A short time later, the victim brought Ms. Stone back to Ms. Conger's house and left. When Ms. Stone re-entered Ms. Conger's house, the telephone charger was not on the table. She noticed that [petitioner] was in possession of the same kind of charger, so she asked him if it was her charger. They "exchanged words, " and Ms. Stone called the victim to tell him that [petitioner] would not return her telephone charger. Shortly thereafter, two people who had been in a different room approached Ms. Stone and returned her charger to her. Upon learning that the cellular telephone charger that had been in [petitioner]'s possession was not her charger, Ms. Stone apologized to [petitioner]. [Petitioner] told her, "I don't accept apologies." She then called the victim and told him not to come to Ms. Conger's house. The victim arrived at Ms. Conger's house despite Ms. Stone's telling him that he did not need to return. At that time, Ms. Stone began to gather her child's belongings so they could leave with the victim.
The victim parked his car on the street in front of Ms. Conger's house. Ms. Stone went outside to speak with him. As she was explaining to the victim that his return was not necessary, he told Ms. Stone that he wanted to speak with [petitioner] and "diffuse the situation." Simultaneously, [petitioner] stepped outside and sat on the back of a car that was parked in the driveway. The two vehicles were approximately fifteen feet apart. The victim told Ms. Stone to ask [petitioner] to walk to his vehicle and talk with him. [Petitioner] said, "No. Tell him to come here." The victim exited his vehicle and walked over to [petitioner]. Ms. Stone stated that the victim did not appear to be angry and was not carrying a weapon. Ms. Stone walked inside the house to get her son so they could leave. While inside, she did not hear the men's voices at all. They were not shouting or yelling. Ms. Stone was in the process of placing her son in his car seat when she heard three gunshots in rapid succession. She began to scream and "hit the floor." She waited for the sound of more shots but did not hear any more. She stood up, and [petitioner] walked through the door. He approached Jonathan Martin, who was inside the house, and said, "Give me the strap, cuz, so I can finish this [expletive] off." Martin handed [petitioner] a gun. [Petitioner] walked back outside. Ms. Stone then heard two more gunshots. She stayed inside and waited for [petitioner] to leave. When she saw [petitioner] drive away in the victim's black Dodge Charger, she went outside to check on the victim . . . .
Charles Stone, Carissa Stone's brother, testified that on April 1, 2010, he . . . was visiting with people at Ms. Conger's house at 154 Morningside Lane. While there, he witnessed the argument between his sister and [petitioner]. Mr. Stone testified that the argument involved a misplaced cellular telephone charger. He told the jury that it was a misunderstanding and that Ms. Stone apologized to [petitioner] when she located her charger. He heard the victim's car pull up to the house and saw Ms. Stone walk outside. Shortly thereafter, [petitioner] followed her outside. Thirty seconds to one minute later, Ms. Stone re-entered the house. At the time, Mr. Stone was seated in the living room area holding his nephew.
After several minutes passed, Mr. Stone thought that "it was too quiet" outside so he walked out of the front door to see what was happening in the front yard. He looked to the left side of the house where the driveway was located and, not seeing anything, stepped back inside. As he was walking back to the living room, he heard three gunshots. Upon hearing gunshots, Mr. Stone ran toward the back door. He circled around the rear of the house to the driveway area and saw the victim lying on the ground. Mr. Stone observed that the victim had been shot and was having a difficult time moving. He attempted to render aid to the victim. As he was doing so, he looked toward the front of the house and saw [petitioner] walking toward them holding a gun. Mr. Stone fled toward the back of the house. When Mr. Stone saw [petitioner] moving closer to the victim, he moved closer to observe the next events. He saw [petitioner] load the weapon and heard him say, "This is for my [expletive]. I know you had something to do with it." The victim protested and tried to crawl toward the house, but [petitioner] shot him two more times. When Mr. Stone heard car doors closing, he believed that ...

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