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Green v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 31, 2014


Assigned on Briefs October 29, 2014

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2007-B-1404 Cheryl Blackburn, Judge

Elaine Heard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William L. Green.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Roger A. Page, JJ., joined.



This case arises from the Petitioner's killing Marvin Allen Ivory on March 2, 2007. The Petitioner appealed his conviction, and this court affirmed the conviction and summarized the facts of the case as follows:

The defendant's conviction in this case relates to the shooting death of the victim, Marvin Allen Ivory, on March 2, 2007. At trial, the victim's sister, Bobbie Ivory, testified that on March 2, 2007, she had gone to a neighborhood store with two cousins when she saw the defendant, whom she knew as "Little Green, " exit a green Thunderbird while talking on a cellular telephone. Ms. Ivory said that the defendant told the person to whom he was speaking that "he needed a gun because this n had just got [his] money."
Ms. Ivory and her companions left the market while the defendant was still in the store, and they returned to Ms. Ivory's mother's residence. At approximately 9:30 p.m., the victim and Tyrez Jones pulled into the driveway in a silver truck and then immediately "pulled back off." Approximately half an hour later, Ms. Ivory was prompted to look out the window by barking dogs. She saw the victim's apparently driver-less silver truck roll backward into a house. Ms. Ivory and her mother went to investigate and discovered that the victim was unconscious inside the locked truck. The women went to telephone police, and when they finally succeeded in rousing the victim, he told them that he had been shot in the back by "Little Green and Big Yo" because he "found $50.00 and [the defendant] said it was his." Ms. Ivory said that the victim was bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to the "back part of his body."
Ms. Ivory said that emergency medical personnel "took so long" to arrive that she, her mother, and her cousins drove the victim to Nashville General Hospital at Meharry. From there, the victim was transferred to Vanderbilt Medical Center, where he died the following morning. The victim's mother, Virginia Ivory, confirmed her daughter's testimony, noting that the victim told them that "Little Green and Big Yo" had shot him. The victim's cousin, April Ivory, confirmed that she and Bobbie Ivory saw the defendant and an individual she knew as "Big Yo" at the neighborhood market but said that she could not overhear the defendant's telephone conversation.
Another of the victim's cousins, Iris Murphy, testified that she was inside the neighborhood market when the defendant, whom she knew as "Little Green, " entered the market talking on a cellular telephone. She said that the defendant "was saying he was upset because [the victim] supposed to of took his money and he was mad because he did not have his strap in." She stated that the defendant said he was going to shoot the victim the next time he saw the victim. Ms. Murphy said that after the defendant ended his telephone conversation, he turned to her and told her that he intended to shoot the victim because the victim had taken $50.00 "off the floor" that belonged to the defendant. Ms. Murphy said that she did not take the defendant's threats seriously, but she did telephone the victim and tell him what the defendant had said. She recalled that the victim did not take the threats seriously either. Later on that evening, she learned that the victim had been shot, and she went to her aunt's house immediately. There she heard the victim say that he had been shot by "Little Green and Big Yo."
Tyrez Johnson, the victim's companion on March 2, 2007, testified that he and the victim were "supposed to be going chilling at the hotel with some females, " but the victim insisted on making a side trip to speak to "that bitch ass n little Green." Mr. Johnson said that the victim told him that he had found $50.00 earlier in the day and that the defendant had claimed the money belonged to him. The victim drove to the defendant's mother's house and "pulled up kind of aggressive like, like something was fixin [sic] to happen." At that point, the victim and the defendant argued, with the victim being somewhat more aggressive than the defendant. Mr. Johnson said that he did not see a gun in the victim's possession but did see the defendant walk back to his car and arm himself with a handgun. At that point, the victim asked the defendant if he was "pistol playing" him, which Mr. Johnson explained to mean "showing the pistol period." The defendant then shot the victim. Despite his wound, the victim was able to get back into his truck and drive away. Mr. Johnson ran away from the scene and returned to his house, where he went to sleep.
Cousins Temeka Crawford, Malika Riley, and Narkeetha Dillard went to the defendant's mother's house on March 2, 2007, to visit the defendant's nephew, Josh Green. Ms. Crawford recalled that while she was at the house, the defendant arrived and told the gathered teenagers that someone had stolen $50.00 from him and that he was "going to pop" the perpetrator. A short time later, the victim pulled up, the two men argued, and the defendant went to his car and armed himself with a handgun. Ms. Crawford heard the victim say, "[A]re you going to shoot me? I ain't scared of no gun." The defendant then shot the victim, and the victim got back into his truck and drove away. Ms. Dillard confirmed Ms. Crawford's version of events, and added that prior to the victim's arrival, the defendant displayed the firearm and said, "[H]e better not play with me I just bought this strap."
Doctor Amy R. McMaster, the medical examiner practicing for the same private company as the doctor who performed the autopsy of the victim, testified that the victim died from a single gunshot wound to his torso that "entered on the left lower abdomen and exited on the right hip." The bullet injured the blood vessels in the mesentery, which "is the supporting structure of the bowel, " and the iliac vessels of the pelvic area. She said "unless [the victim] was shot while standing in a[n] emergency room that had the capability of repairing these wounds, these wounds are fatal wounds."
During cross-examination, Doctor McMaster testified that tests on the victim's blood "revealed the presence of ethanol which is alcohol, drinking alcohol. It revealed THC which is an active ingredient in marijuana. It also revealed cocaine and cocaine metabolites, cocaine metabolites is what your body turns cocaine into in the process of clearing it from the body."
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Detective Danny Satterfield led the investigation into the victim's murder. He testified that "[t]here was no physical evidence that was located" at the scene of the shooting. After interviewing witnesses, he obtained a warrant for the defendant's arrest. The defendant reported to the police station later that same day and provided a videotaped statement to police. Detective Satterfield said that the defendant initially denied being present at the scene but later admitted shooting the victim and claimed he did so in self-defense. The defendant's videotaped statement was played for the jury.
At the conclusion of Detective Satterfield's testimony, the State rested.
The defendant's nephew, Joshua Green, testified on behalf of the defendant, that on March 2, 2007, the defendant told him that the victim had threatened the defendant. A short time later, the victim "pulled up aggressively" in his truck. The two men argued, and Mr. Green claimed that the victim called someone on his cellular telephone during the argument and asked the person to "bring that burner thing." Mr. Green "guess[ed]" that "burner thing" was a firearm. He said that the victim was unarmed and standing in the ...

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