Assigned on Briefs December 2, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 12-03285 W. Mark Ward, Judge.
Eric Mogy (on appeal) and Eran Julian (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carmel Borum aka Carnel Borum.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilbur, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Pamela Fleming and Omar Malik, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Roger A. Page, JJ., joined.
JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE
At trial, Michael Creswell testified that, on September 6, 2012, he was living at 2946 Mountain Terrace in Memphis. On that date at approximately 10:30 p.m., he discovered that someone had stolen his white 1996 Buick Century automobile from his open carport. Mr. Creswell testified that the car bore a Lafayette County, Mississippi license plate, and, at trial, he identified a picture of the car.
When asked by the prosecutor, "What was the value of that car to you?, " Mr. Cresell responded, "I would price it around two thousand dollars." Responding to the follow-up question, "[I]f you were to list that car to sell back around the time period it was stolen, what would you sell it for?, " Mr. Creswell said, "I would want at least two thousand for it."
Mr. Creswell testified that, when he discovered the car missing, he called 9-1-1 and relayed to the 9-1-1 operator the make, model, and color of the car and the license number. Approximately three hours after Mr. Creswell discovered the theft, a police officer telephoned him and told him the car had been recovered. Mr. Creswell testified that the steering column had been broken and that "whoever it was who stole the car had drove [sic] it on a flat . . . for so long it flattened the rim out and the rim started cutting into the strut tower."
On cross-examination, Mr. Creswell testified that, two weeks prior to the theft, he had spent $1, 500 having his car's transmission rebuilt. Mr. Creswell opined that, had he taken the car to a dealer to sell it, he would expect to get $1, 500 to $2, 000 for it.
Robert L. Strickland, an officer with the Memphis Police Department ("MPD"), testified that while he was on patrol in the early morning hours of September 7, 2012, he received a police alert that a white Buick Century had been stolen. Officer Strickland testified that he saw a white Buick Century and that he followed the Buick while he conferred with the dispatcher. The officer was informed that the stolen car bore a Mississippi license plate. Officer Strickland waited for a second police car to join him, and then he activated his blue lights and siren to stop the Buick. The Buick, however, did not stop, and Officer Strickland pursued it for "several miles, " recalling that the Buick ran "several stop lights." After the police supervisors told Officer Strickland and the other pursuing officers that the Buick had "blown a tire, " the officers turned off their emergency equipment and observed the Buick which, at this time, was traveling at about 30 to 35 miles per hour. Despite the loss of a tire, the Buick traveled another three miles, followed by "eight to ten" police cars.
During the pursuit, Officer Strickland noticed that the Buick was being driven by a "male black" individual. After the Buick stopped, Officer Stickland used his cruiser to prevent the driver from exiting the driver's side of the Buick; however, as the officer was getting out of his cruiser, he saw the Buick's driver running away. The officer gave chase on foot while radio-broadcasting the man's description to his fellow officers who had joined in the search for the fleeing man. Officer Strickland suspended his pursuit when an 80-to-90-pound pit bulldog came toward him. Nevertheless, the officer saw the same man about five minutes later after the man had been captured by officers on the perimeter of the search location. Officer Strickland testified that the man in custody, the defendant, was sweating and limping and was the same person who ran from the Buick and whom he had been chasing.
Officer Strickland reviewed the photograph that Mr. Creswell had earlier identified as being a picture of his Buick, and the officer testified that the car in the picture was the car he pursued on September 7, 2012.
Officer Strickland testified that he saw the profile of the driver's face during the chase and again when the man ran behind the police car after the vehicles had stopped. The officer iterated that ...