Assigned Date: October 7, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 12-02355 Chris Craft, Judge
Tony N. Brayton (on appeal) and Robert Trent Hall (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Gale.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Abby Wallace, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE
A.T., the victim, met Defendant in the fall of 2011. She considered him a friend. The couple had consensual sex on at least one occasion after they met. On the afternoon of December 16, 2011, Defendant called A.T. several times. He wanted A.T. to give him a ride somewhere. At around 11:00 p.m. that night, A.T. picked Defendant up at a Texaco gas station.
A.T. took Defendant to his home for a few minutes before he persuaded her to drive to another gas station. Defendant purchased something at the gas station then asked A.T. to take him to her house. Defendant told A.T. that his cousin would pick him up later.
A.T. took Defendant to her house. A.T.'s two children were not home that evening; they were staying the night with their grandmother. Defendant and A.T. sat in the living room talking for a short amount of time. A.T. hinted that Defendant should call his cousin as she was ready for Defendant to leave.
Defendant then made a telephone call during which he asked someone to come get him at A.T.'s house. Then, Defendant excused himself, and went to the restroom. When he returned, A.T. noticed that he had an empty beer bottle in his back pocket. The bottle came from the trash can. A.T. was frustrated and wanted Defendant to leave her house; she started yelling at him and even stood next to the door. She planned to lock the door when Defendant left.
Defendant dropped his coat on the floor and asked A.T. to pick it up. When A.T. bent over to pick up the coat, Defendant hit her on the left side of her face, knocking her into a "counter." Defendant closed the door to the house and told A.T. to "shut up." Defendant told A.T. that if she ever wanted to see her kids again, she would comply with his demands. Defendant took her keys, shoes, and phone and ordered her to sit in the corner of the living room. Defendant repeatedly told A.T. that he had a gun and that he would shoot her if she did not comply with his requests.
Defendant ordered A.T. to take her shirt off. She begged him to stop. Defendant picked up a large, two-pronged meat fork, similar to something that would be used on a grill, and told her that he was going to count to five and stab her if she did not comply. Defendant repeatedly told A.T. to do things and then threatened her with either the fork or a gun if she did not comply. While A.T. never actually saw a gun, she described that Defendant would reach into the pocket of his jacket when he referred to a gun.
After A.T. removed her shirt, Defendant forced her to the bedroom by threatening her with the grilling fork at fork-point. A.T. continued to try to reason with Defendant, to no avail. He instructed her to take off her clothing. Defendant then forced A.T. to ...