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State v. Lackland

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 18, 2017


          Session October 4, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County Nos. 12-06020, 12-06021 Chris Craft, Judge.

         Defendant, Brian Lackland, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury in two separate indictments for aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The indictments were consolidated for trial. A jury found Defendant guilty of simple assault, aggravated burglary, attempted first degree murder, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The charge for aggravated assault was dismissed. Defendant was sentenced to a total effective sentence of twenty-three years. Between the trial and the hearing on the motion for new trial, the victim signed an affidavit recanting his trial testimony. The trial court denied the motion for new trial, finding that the victim's recantation was not credible. On appeal, Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and the trial court's denial of the motion for new trial. Because the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for new trial, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Monica Timmerman (on appeal) and Handel Durham (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brian Lackland.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Colin Campbell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.



         The victim, Corey Selmon, met Danielle Hardrick on Beale Street in Memphis in the summer of 2012. At some point that night, they exchanged numbers. The victim did not hear from Ms. Hardrick until about a month later, on June 27, 2012, when she called him at around 2:00 p.m. As a result of the telephone conversation, the victim made plans to "come out [to the Valley Forge Apartments] and see her later on" that day. The victim went to the apartments around 11:00 p.m. in a rented 2006 Nissan Sentra, a car he was driving after his truck was stolen. He was not entirely sure how to get to the apartment, so Ms. Hardrick told him to call her once he got to "Third Street." The victim did as instructed. Ms. Hardrick gave him directions to the apartment, including telling him where to park.

         As the victim approached the closed apartment door, "an individual walked out." The man had a "frown on his face" and was black, "short, about five - - five six, had real bad acne, " and appeared to be seventeen or eighteen years old. The victim "turned around to see what was going on, and that's when [he saw a man] with a gun in his hand." The door to the apartment was now open. The victim immediately thought that he was "in danger." Two or three more people "came to the back from behind [the victim] and put guns to [his] back and to [his] head." Later, after talking to police, the victim claimed that there were approximately six people involved. They instructed him to get down on the ground where they stripped him down to his socks and put his shirt over his head. The shirt was not completely covering the victim's face and he was lying on his stomach, so he could still see a little bit of what was happening. "[O]ne guy's pretty much directing the other guys on what to do, " telling them to "search the pants pocket" and the car. The victim was wearing diamond earrings worth $500, a ring worth $1200, and had "an Android Cricket phone." He also had $800 in cash he received as payment for painting someone else's vehicle.

         The ordeal lasted about five minutes and finally ended when "they told [him] to get up and run to the right." The victim scooped up his pants and other things lying nearby and ran through a field to a gas station near the corner of Third and Michigan where he called the police. It took him about seven minutes to get to the gas station because while he was running away he saw someone "riding around the neighborhood" in a car. The victim was afraid that the occupants of the car were looking for him because at one point they yelled for him to come over to the car. The victim hid behind a garbage can until the "coast was clear."

         The victim realized that he had picked up an iPhone that did not belong to him when he picked up his clothes. He did not use the iPhone to call police because he "was ignorant of the fact of how to work an iPhone, and plus, the battery was dead." Once the police arrived, they took the victim back to the apartments so that he could identify where the incident occurred.

         Officer Ricky Gray was one of the officers that responded to the call and met the victim at the BP station. He described the victim as "partially clothed" and could see visible bruising on the victim's feet, presumably from running without shoes. Officer Gray took the victim back to the crime scene and did not see any evidence of the robbery. No one answered the door of the apartment. Officer Gray did not recall the victim telling him about finding an iPhone. The victim got a ride home with a family member and eventually had to get a tow truck to move the rental car.

         The next day, the victim went to the police station and tried to meet with the detective but was told the detective was not at the office. After the incident, the victim procured a charging cord for the iPhone, powered the phone on, and looked on the Facebook app to see if he could identify anyone involved in the robbery. The victim identified two men that he thought were involved but later realized that there was "a possibility that [he] could have gotten them wrong." The victim ...

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