Assigned on Briefs December 2, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-00173 J. Robert Carter, Jr., Judge
Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; and Tony N. Brayton (on appeal), Nigel Lewis (at trial), and Amy G. Mayne (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cedric Taylor.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Joshua Corman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Roger A. Page, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.
ROGER A. PAGE, JUDGE
This case arises from appellant's forced entry into the victim's residence and subsequent robbery during which appellant stole the victim's purse.
At appellant's October 2013 trial, the State called the victim as its first witness. On June 23, 2012, the victim lived on Longfellow Road in Memphis. That night, a friend picked her up at her home to go dancing at a club called "Eclipse." Thereafter, the women had dinner at a restaurant, and the victim arrived at her residence between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. on June 24. As the victim opened the outer black iron door and entered her home, her friend drove away. The victim reached behind her to close the outer door, and she observed two black males, one pointing a gun at her. The male who held the gun pushed her through her open inner door and into her house. She called out to "Mario, " one of the individuals with whom she lived at the time, but the male struck her in the head with the gun and instructed her to "shut up." At that point, the second male entered the residence. They "grabbed" the victim, "pushed" her, and then took her handbag. The victim was bleeding from the attack.
After the two males stole the victim's purse, they fled from the residence, and the people with whom she lived entered the room. They called the police and an ambulance, and the victim was later transported to the hospital via ambulance. The victim stated that she required staples in her head as a result of being struck with the gun.
The victim stated that the perpetrator who held the gun and struck her was dressed all in black with white lettering on his shirt. He also had long hair with dreadlocks, a braid in the back of his hair, a goatee, and a beard. She believed him to be between twenty-three and twenty-seven years of age. The other male was also dressed in black and had short hair with a "line" and acne on his face.
A few days later, the victim spoke with Detective Ivan Lopez who showed her a photograph array from which she identified the perpetrator who had wielded the weapon and struck her on the head. She testified at trial that she was "a hundred percent sure that it [was] him[sic]" whom she recognized from the photograph.
The State's next witness was Officer Mitchell McDaniel with the Memphis Police Department. He testified that he responded to the call on Longfellow Road involving the victim, and he recalled encountering the victim and observing a laceration on her head. After the victim was transported to the hospital, Officer McDaniel, who was also certified in fingerprint collection, remained on the scene and attempted to obtain prints from the door handle but was unsuccessful. He was, however, able to lift prints from a coffee table in the living room.
Detective Lopez with the Memphis Police Department's robbery division testified next and stated that he first made contact with the victim at the hospital on June 24 where she was being treated for her head injury. At that time, the victim provided an explanation of the events and descriptions of the perpetrators who had been involved in ...