Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs September 9, 2014
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. I-CR046393 Donald P. Harris, Judge
Vanessa Pettigrew Bryan; Public Defender; Robert Wilson Jones, Assistant Public Defender; and Allison Rasbury West, Assistant Public Defender; Franklin Tennessee, for the appellant, Calvin Reid Quarles.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General; and Tammy J. Rettig, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, /JUDGE
George David Boston and his daughter, Paige Boston, lived in the Villages of Morningside, a senior living community in Williamson County. On February 2, 2012, Mr. Boston came home around 2:00 p.m. and noticed that his back door was open. When he approached the door, he realized that the deadbolt was "bent and disturbed." Mr. Boston called the police and his daughter, Ms. Boston, who was at work.
Detective David Dixon arrived on the scene. Once the detective arrived, Mr. Boston was permitted to enter the residence and discerned that several items were missing. Included among those items were a thirty-two-inch flat-screen television, a jar of loose change, his deceased wife's jewelry box, a clock radio, an iPod, a laptop, a netbook, and "other miscellaneous items." The jewelry box contained at least a twenty-inch gold chain, a rhinestone necklace, earrings, a beaded necklace, and two pendants purchased in Spain. According to Ms. Boston, the missing items were worth around $3, 400. No fingerprints were recovered from the scene.
The burglary occurred on a Thursday afternoon. That following weekend, Ms. Boston distributed flyers containing photographs of the missing jewelry to several local pawnshops. That afternoon, someone from Cashville Gold and Silver Buyers called her to inform her that two of her missing pieces of jewelry were at their shop. Detective Dixon visited the shop to investigate. Defendant was identified as a suspect after Detective Dixon watched surveillance video in which Defendant was seen giving the jewelry to the store owner.
Defendant was arrested. He gave a statement in which he could not give specifics about how or where he obtained the jewelry that he pawned at Cashville Gold and Silver Buyers. He claimed that he bought "a lot of stuff" at flea markets. Defendant was unable to produce a receipt for the items. When confronted with the fact that the items were stolen, Defendant admitted that he did not receive the items from anyone else and that he was the person at Cashville Gold and Silver Buyers. Defendant acknowledged that he received $165 for the items and signed the logbook at the store. Defendant explained that his son Sheldon drove him to the pawnshop but was not involved in the transaction.
As a result of the investigation, Defendant was indicted by the Williamson County Grand Jury in April of 2012 for one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft of property valued over $1, 000. After a jury trial, Defendant was found not guilty of aggravated burglary and guilty of theft of property valued over $500 but less than $1, 000. The trial court sentenced Defendant to fifteen months in incarceration as a Range I, Standard Offender.
Defendant filed a motion for new trial in which he argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. Additionally, he argued that the trial court improperly responded to a question from the jury and, in so doing, effectively "diminished the requirements of theft of property." ...