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State v. Price

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

June 24, 2015

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
KEVIN PRICE

Assigned on Briefs April 14, 2015

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-01597 John Campbell, Judge

John R. Scott, Jr., and James P. Coleman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Price.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Muriel Malone, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Norma McGee Ogle, J., joined.

OPINION

JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE

The defendant's convictions relate to his entering a storage area owned by the victim, Donald Hodge, and stealing a lawn mower, weed trimmer, hedge trimmer, and a leaf blower.

Mr. Hodge testified that when he left for work at 6:30 a.m. on October 1, 2012, the door to the storage shed adjacent to his carport was locked. When he returned home at approximately 5:30 p.m., the door was open, and "the bottom panel of the door ha[d] been knocked out." He said that "all [his] gas operated lawn equipment was missing, " including "a Torro mower, an Echo weedeater, Echo hedge trimmer, and a Craftsman blower." The mower was valued "right at $400, " the weed trimmer at $250, the hedge trimmer at $260, and the blower at $130. Mr. Hodge placed the total value of all the items taken at $1, 040. Mr. Hodge said that he did not give anyone permission to enter his residence or to take the lawn equipment. Mr. Hodge said that the lawn mower had been returned to him.

During cross-examination, Mr. Hodge confirmed that although the storage shed was "part of the carport, " it was not adjoined to the house and that one could not "access the house from the storage room." He explained that the carport was connected to the house and that the shed was connected to the carport.

Memphis Police Department Officer Matthew Longshore responded to Mr. Hodge's call of a theft at his residence. He observed that "a wooden panel" had been "kicked out of the door" to a shed. Mr. Hodge provided Officer Longshore with serial numbers for all but one of the items taken. He said that he found no fingerprint evidence at the scene.

Regis Eleby, a pawn broker at E-Z Pawn on Sumner Avenue in Memphis, identified a pawn ticket issued on October 1, 2012, for a lawn mower with a serial number that matched the one provided by Mr. Hodge. The ticket showed that the item had been pawned by the defendant at 9:09 a.m. for $100.

At the conclusion of this proof, the State rested. After a full Momon colloquy, the defendant elected not to testify but did choose to present proof.

The defendant's brother, Danny Price, testified that the two men had breakfast together on the morning of October 1, 2012, at approximately 8:00 a.m. After approximately 15 minutes, Mr. Price received a call to report to a job for his wrecker service, and the two left. As he drove down the street, Mr. Price saw the defendant pull into an Exxon station where some men were "selling a lawn mower and stuff out of the back of a truck."

Based upon this proof, the jury convicted the defendant as charged of aggravated burglary and theft of property valued at $1, 000 or more but less than $10, 000. The defendant filed a timely but unsuccessful ...


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