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State v. Norris

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 3, 2015


Assigned on Briefs December 16, 2014

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. CR046389A Timothy L. Easter, Judge

Vanessa P. Bryan, District Public Defender; and Susan V. Logan, Assistant Public Defender, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph Kantrell Norris.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Terry Wood, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John Everett Williams and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.



Guilty plea hearing

At the guilty plea hearing, the State set forth the factual basis for Defendant's pleas. On December 23, 2011, Mary Runion and Michelle Chestnut went to Sharon Perkins' home in Franklin to deliver Christmas presents, groceries, and gift cards. As they were carrying in the last load of items, Ms. Runion saw some men congregating on the side of Ms. Perkins' home. Ms. Runion took her purse and Ms. Chestnut's purse inside the home. Shortly after that, four armed men wearing masks entered the home. They wanted to know where Tory "One Eye" Dunlap lived. Mr. Dunlap lived in the other side of the duplex where Ms. Perkins lived. Ms. Perkins told the men that they were at the wrong house, but the men held the women confined in the living room and demanded their purses and cell phones.

The men ordered Ms. Perkins to go next door and knock on Mr. Dunlap's door. She was told that if she "tried anything, that she and the other women would be shot." Ms. Perkins knocked on Mr. Dunlap's door, and there was no answer. When she returned, the men ordered all three women to go to the area behind Mr. Dunlap's residence. One of the men, Deangelo Miller, attempted to kick in Mr. Dunlap's back door, but was unsuccessful. He then broke the kitchen window with his gun. He slipped and cut himself and left blood evidence on the window. Another gunman, Alonzo Howard, entered the apartment through the kitchen window and opened the back door for the others to enter. The men ordered the three women to sit on a futon bed in the living room. One of the men, Michael Daily, held the women captive with an assault rifle while the others searched the apartment for items to steal. Mr. Miller found a bag of marijuana and a "cashbox." Either Mr. Miller or Mr. Daily shook the bag of marijuana in front of Ms. Chestnut's face and said, "this is what we came for."

At some point the women were forced to the living room floor, where Mr. Daily attempted to tie up Ms. Chestnut using an electrical cord. Mr. Howard was finishing tying up Ms. Chestnut when Mr. Dunlap, his girlfriend, and their three children arrived home. Mr. Dunlap opened the door and saw a person in his kitchen going through his cabinets and another person in his living room holding a gun. He heard gunshots and pulled the door shut. Mr. Howard fired six shots. Four of the shots went through the door, one went to the right of the door, and one went to the left of the door, where Mr. Dunlap's two-year-old child was sleeping in her carseat. Mr. Dunlap was shot twice in the leg. The men fled the scene to a waiting car that was driven by Trandis Patterson.

Approximately two weeks prior to the incident, Defendant went to Jason and Denise Coleman's house and asked them where Mr. Dunlap lived. Defendant stated that he heard Mr. Dunlap had cash, and he wanted to rob him. Mr. Dunlap lived behind the Colemans' house. On December 23, 2011, Defendant returned to the Colemans' house, asking about Mr. Dunlap. The Colemans' son told Defendant the general area where Mr. Dunlap lived. Within an hour, they heard gunshots coming from Mr. Dunlap's house.

Sentencing hearing

At the sentencing hearing, the trial court noted that Defendant would be sentenced as a Range II offender as agreed upon by the parties. The presentence report and victim impact statements were entered as exhibits.

Deangelo Miller testified that it was Defendant's idea to rob Mr. Dunlap. Defendant gave Mr. Miller a .25 caliber gun. He testified that all four men were armed and wearing ski masks. He testified that Defendant directed the men during the commission of the offenses. He testified that Defendant and Alonzo Howard fired shots at Mr. Dunlap. He testified that later that night, Defendant told him, "I fired him up." Mr. Miller testified that the ...

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