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Dancy v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 16, 2015


Assigned on Briefs February 3, 2015

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 0806462 J. Robert Carter, Jr., Judge

Ruchee J. Patel, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Louis Dancy.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Ahmed A. Safeeullah; Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Megan Fowler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and John Everett Williams, JJ., joined.



This appeal stems from the shooting death of the victim, Charles Williams, on April 4, 2008. The Petitioner was subsequently indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for second degree murder in relation to this incident. This court summarized the underlying facts of the Petitioner's case on direct appeal as follows:

At approximately 10:40 a.m. on April 4, 2008, Officer Timeca Johnson of the Memphis Police Department was dispatched to an assault call where shots had been fired in front of Hattie's Grocery on South Lauderdale Street. Because she was passing the area as the crime occurred, she was able to respond within a minute. When Officer Johnson arrived on the scene, she saw Charles Williams, the victim, lying face down on the walkway in front of the business, and six or seven people were standing around. The victim was alive but unresponsive, so Officer Johnson rolled him over and determined that he had been shot in the pelvic area. She did not find any possessions on the victim. She assisted him until the fire department arrived.
Officer Johnson then interviewed witnesses and reviewed video footage from the surveillance cameras at Hattie's Grocery. She noted that some of the individuals in the video were still on the scene, and the video also showed [the Petitioner] and Laquisha Cosey at the scene. Officer Johnson later located a shell casing near her patrol car. She testified that there was a lot of gang activity in the area of the shooting.
Rachel Montgomery, the victim's aunt and guardian, testified that she learned of the shooting on her way to church and went to the scene. The victim's mother was there when Ms. Montgomery arrived, and emergency personnel were still working on the victim. Ms. Montgomery followed the ambulance to the Regional Medical Center where the victim remained for two weeks before he passed away. Ms. Montgomery explained that the victim was supposed to attend church with her that Sunday morning but stayed home because he had a headache. Ms. Montgomery later learned that the victim had walked to the store with Nakiel Addison to buy some cigarettes and pizza. She said that the victim also hung out with "Quick" Addison.
Dr. Marco Ross performed an autopsy on the victim. He determined that the victim had "sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen for which he had multiple surgeries performed and had multiple complications resulting from the initial gunshot wound, that were the cause of his death." Dr. Ross testified that the victim developed an infection that became septic due to the injury to his intestines. The loss of blood also caused the victim to sustain brain damage.
Eleven-year-old Nakiel Addison testified that he was in front of Hattie's Grocery on April [4], 2008. He had walked to the store to get something to eat, but it was closed, and he waited there to see if it would open. Nakiel testified that the victim walked up and sat down. He knew the victim who was friends with his cousin, "Quick" Addison. Nakiel and the victim were talking and laughing with another friend when a woman walked up to the store and pulled on the door. She then asked Williams if they were laughing at her, and he responded that they were not. Nakiel saw the woman walk away and point to a man across the street. Nakiel testified that the man then walked up to the store and shot the victim. Nakiel ran home when he saw the gun and told his mother what had happened. While he was running, Nakiel saw the shooter run away as well.
Sergeant Steven Roach of the Felony Assault Unit drove to the Med with Detective Weddle on April 6, 2008, to check on the victim. He received the video and a statement from the store owner and reviewed the video. He also interviewed Quincy "Quick" Addison, Nakiel Addison, and Laquisha Cosey, who was [the Petitioner]'s girlfriend. Sergeant Roach testified that [the Petitioner] was taken into custody in Cleveland, Mississippi, and Sergeant Roach drove there on April 28, 2008, and picked him up. [The Petitioner] then signed a waiver and gave a statement. Sergeant Roach testified that [the Petitioner] was very cooperative and admitted to the shooting. [The Petitioner] said that no one else was involved. [The Petitioner] told Sergeant Roach that he had followed Ms. Cosey to the store where she was arguing with the victim. He said that the victim "kept hollering get your fat ass off my block, " and Ms. Cosey said that she was tired of "these folks" constantly "picking" on her.
[The Petitioner] said that he walked up and saw the victim "grabbing on his pants acting like he had a gun under his shirt, " and the victim said, "[Y]ou ain't the only one who got a gun." [The Petitioner] told Detective Roach that he pulled a nine millimeter out of a black bag and fired one round. He then ran down an alley and tossed the gun. [The Petitioner] said that he ran to "Lemonyne Owen Park, I ...

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