Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs April 22, 2015
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2011B1815 Steve R. Dozier, Judge
William E. Griffith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Ewing Green, IV.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Tracy L. Alcock, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Rachael Sobrero, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
John Everett Williams, J. delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Roger A. Page, JJ., joined.
JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE
Factual Background and Procedural History
The facts underlying the petitioner's convictions, as recited by the State at the guilty plea hearing, are as follows:
Had this case gone to trial the State's proof would have shown that on March 28th, 2011, the police respond[ed] to a shooting at 225 Lowell Street. . . . [A]t that location neighbors had heard multiple gunshots. Most neighbors reported hearing three gunshots and several neighbors in the area from 217 and 225 Lowell Street came out and discovered a Mr. Jose Martin Moya Torres out in the street. He was alive at that time. He was telling witnesses that he had been car jacked by two male blacks and that they shot him. He said that they took his money and his car.
Police responded within minutes and at that time, Mr. Moya told police he had been driving a car owned by Balanka Torres, which was a 2000 Toyota Solera with a Tennessee tag 092 WRB. At that time, Mr. Moya was transported to the hospital and underwent surgery during which he died. And at that time, the police who were still at the scene at 225 Lowell Street processing the scene were in the process of collecting evidence and began a homicide investigation.
On the morning of March 29, 2011, the victim's car was located on Edenwald behind the Miller Mont Technical College. It was abandoned near a concrete barrier on a dead-end road and it had been burned [using] some accelerant substance in an attempt to destroy it.
At that time, crime scene investigators processed that car and were able to lift fingerprints off of the vehicle. One of those fingerprints was identified as belonging to [the petitioner]. Investigators spoke with Jose Rodriguez who owns Rodriguez Service Center on Gallatin Pike. Mr. Moya, the victim, was employed at that location and people at the business told police that earlier the day of the 28th they observed Mr. Moya speaking with two females in a blue Buick. The females were described as a black female and a white female. And that after their [conversations] with [the petitioner], they had called him repeatedly throughout the day asking him to come to their house to fix a fog light.
At that time, police also discovered there was an additional witness who operated a mobile car wash in the parking lot of Rodriguez [S]ervice Center, his name is Orlan Deolum (phonetic) and he and his employee Gary Wilks gave police the description of the vehicle and the women as well. And Mr. Wilks knew that the white female's name is Tara Adcock. Based on that information, police looked up Tara Adcock, discovered NES records showing service in her name at 274 Beckleiah.
At that point they went to that location and spoke with . . . Tara Adcock and Lashanda Williamson who both resided at that residence. They both agree[d] to go to north precinct to be interviewed. Also at that time police recovered from 274 Beckleiah five .9 millimeter shell casing[s]. This was important because the three shell casing[s] at the scene of the homicide were all .9 millimeter shell casings.
During interviews of Tara Adcock and Lashanda Williamson, Ms. Adcock admitted to detectives that she had been driving a Nissan Maxima, this was consistent with witness descriptions of one of the vehicles leaving the scene. The other vehicle observed leaving the scene was the victim's Toyota Solera.
She confirmed with police that a man name[d] Jose fixed her tire at Rodriguez Service Center on the 28th and that he was supposed to come to her house to fix a light on the Maxima that night. She later admitted that she was expecting him or had set up a deal for sex and not to fix the fog light on the car.
At that time Ms. Adcock and Ms. Williamson were released and went home the investigation continued and lead police back to 274 Beckleiah where they again searched the home and interviewed witnesses including Lashanda Williamson and Tara Adcock. On the subsequent interview of Ms. Adcock, she explained that she, Lashanda Williamson, Ryan Burford and [the petitioner] left her house to go meet the victim with the intent to rob him. She said that Ryan Burford had a gun and [the petitioner] had a gun and that the two men held the victim at gun point and got his wallet and his car from him. And that as the victim was running away, he was shot.
She told police that [the petitioner] drove the victim's car away and that all four of them participated in trying to burn the car. Lashanda Williamson was interviewed that same day, initially denied being involved in planning a robbery, but later admitted that she did know that it was going to be a robbery and she was involved and that both Ryan Burford and [the petitioner] had guns on them. She admitted to being present while the car was attempted ...