Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs April 19, 2016
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No.
2014-A-258 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge
Davidson County Criminal Court Jury found the Appellant,
Montez Deontay Ridley, guilty of aggravated robbery, a Class
B felony. The trial court imposed a sentence of nine years.
On appeal, the Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the
evidence sustaining his conviction. Specifically, the
Appellant contends that he was not at the scene of the crime,
that no forensic evidence placed him at the scene, and that
it was illogical that anyone would perpetrate the crime in
such close proximity to the police. The Appellant also
contends that the victims were unable to identify him from a
photographic lineup. Finally, the Appellant contends that his
confession was the result of lies told by the police. Upon
review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
McGregor (on appeal) and Kyle Parks (at trial), Nashville,
Tennessee, for the Appellant, Montez Deontay Ridley.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Clarence E. Lutz, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District
Attorney General; and Megan King, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE
trial, the victim, Jacob "Jake" Morton, testified
that he lived in Baltimore, Maryland, and that he worked as a
basketball coach. In August 2013, Morton lived in Bowling
Green, Kentucky. Morton had advertised athletic shoes for
sale for $200 to $250 on Craigslist. The advertisement
included Morton's cellular telephone number. A
prospective buyer called him, and they had several
conversations about the shoes. The buyer never identified
himself by name, but Morton later identified the buyer as the
called the Appellant on the morning of August 16. They
arranged to meet at Prince's Hot Chicken in Nashville at
"lunchtime, " which Morton thought was around noon
or 1:00 p.m. Morton explained that he had sold several items
on Craigslist and that he had been comfortable meeting people
to whom he was selling the items. Morton took four pairs of
shoes he had advertised because the Appellant had mentioned
having a friend who wore the same size shoes as he.
Morton's cousin, Sally Washington, accompanied him on his
drive to Nashville.
said that he called the Appellant when the Appellant did not
come to the restaurant at the prearranged time. At first, the
Appellant did not answer the telephone, but Morton kept
calling him. Meanwhile, Morton and Washington went shopping,
ate, and went sightseeing. Morton eventually spoke with the
Appellant around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. The Appellant suggested
they meet at a Family Dollar store near Titans Stadium and
gave Morton directions to the location. When Morton arrived,
the store was closed. Morton called the Appellant, and the
Appellant told Morton to come to an alley behind the store.
The Appellant and another man were sitting on a ledge near
some apartments. Morton parked but left the car running. The
Appellant and the other man got up and walked toward
got out of the car, but Washington remained in the front
passenger seat. Morton walked to the back of the car and
opened the trunk to show the Appellant the shoes. Morton and
the Appellant talked for a few seconds about the shoes, then
the Appellant pulled a gun out of his pocket and pointed it
at Morton's side. The Appellant warned,
"'Don't turn around.'" The Appellant
kept the gun pointed at Morton while the other man searched
Morton's pockets and took his wallet. Morton's wallet
contained his driver's license, credit cards, "a lot
of traveling stuff, " and five or ten dollars. The
Appellant and the other man took the four pairs of shoes from
the trunk. Morton did not know how many pairs each man had
but noticed that both men were carrying shoe boxes when they
ran into a neighborhood around the apartments. Morton denied
that he bought drugs from or sold drugs to the Appellant.
said that after the robbery, he drove to a nearby Exxon
station and called 911. He told the dispatcher about the