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State v. Richardson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

February 13, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ANTONIO RICHARDSON

          Assigned on Briefs December 6, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 14-04161 James M. Lammey, Jr., Judge

         The Defendant, Antonio Richardson, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of first degree premeditated murder. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-202 (2014). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to life imprisonment. On appeal, he contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and (2) the trial court erred by admitting in evidence a photograph of the victim from the crime scene. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; Tony N. Brayton (on appeal), Kamilah Turner (at trial), and Jennifer Case (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, for the appellant, Antonio Richardson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Glen Baity and Bryce Phillips, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         This case arises from an August 16, 2014 shooting in which Andrew Wooten, also known as Woo, sustained multiple gunshot wounds while inside his car and died as a result of his injuries. At the trial, Teresa Wooten, the victim's sister, testified that she last saw the victim two days before the shooting. She said that she had never heard of the Defendant before the victim's death but said her daughter and the Defendant were Facebook friends around the time of the shooting. M s. Wooten said that her daughter showed Ms. Wooten the Defendant's Facebook page. Ms. Wooten identified a photograph depicting the Defendant standing behind a black SUV and said this photograph was posted on the Defendant's Facebook page. M s. Wooten said that she called the police after viewing the photograph and showed the photograph to police officers. Ms. Wooten stated that in 2012, the victim was accused of shooting the Defendant, although she did not witness the shooting.

         Memphis Police Lieutenant Derrick Williams testified that on July 18, 2012, he investigated a shooting incident in which the Defendant was the victim. Lieutenant Williams stated that he called the Defendant and asked what occurred and that the Defendant reported a man identified as Woo "ran in his house on him." Lieutenant Williams said that the Defendant did not want to prosecute and that the file was closed. He said that although he asked the Defendant to sign a refusal to prosecute form, no form was signed.

         On cross-examination, Lieutenant Williams testified that the telephone number he used to contact the Defendant was provided to him by the officer who responded to the crime scene. He agreed he had never spoken to the Defendant before the 2012 incident.

         Taylor Newton testified that he worked at Thompson Court Apartments at the time of the 2014 shooting and that he was the assistant property manager tasked with security oversight. He said that security cameras were positioned on the main office building, that the cameras recorded the shooting, and that the police obtained a copy of the recording, which was received as an exhibit. On cross-examination, Mr. Newton testified that he was unsure whether an employee of the apartment complex continuously watched the security cameras.

         Memphis Police Officer James Fort testified that he obtained the surveillance video recording from the apartment complex. Although the recording was played for the jury, it is not contained in the appellate record.

         Laquinta Davis testified that she lived at the apartment complex on August 16, 2014. She said that at the time of the shooting, she was on her back porch watching neighborhood children play football and that she saw a black SUV drive around the area twice before stopping near her apartment. She said that she heard gunfire and that the Defendant got out of the driver's door of the SUV, ran toward another car, and continued shooting to "finish off" the victim. She said that the gun was a semi-automatic handgun. She said that she heard a two-second pause during the shooting, which she described as the time it took for the Defendant to "get close enough . . . and then finish" shooting at the victim. She said that she heard about nine gunshots and that the Defendant returned to his SUV and drove away. She said that she called 9-1-1, that the dispatcher asked her to determine whether the victim was breathing, that she walked to the car, and that the victim was not breathing. She saw bullet holes in the victim's back and said the victim was "slumped over" to the side.

         Ms. Davis identified the surveillance recording from the apartment complex and said that the recording accurately reflected her testimony. She said that although several people walked toward the victim's car after the shooting, nobody got inside the car. She said that she did not see any weapons in the victim's hands or inside the car and that she did not see anything to indicate shots were being fired from the victim's car. She said that she had never seen the Defendant before the shooting and that she did not know the victim.

         On cross-examination, Ms. Davis testified that she did not know any of the people who walked toward the victim's car after the shooting, that she did not know Charles Dowdy, and that she moved to the apartment complex about one month before the shooting. She agreed that after the people walked toward the victim's car, she turned away from the victim's car and toward the main office while she spoke to the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

         Laquilshay Brown testified that she had lived at the apartment complex about seven months at the time of the shooting. She said that on the day of the shooting, she and a friend were returning to her apartment. She said that from inside her friend's car, she heard gunshots and saw the Defendant drive past her friend's car while shooting a gun at someone. She said the Defendant stopped shooting, got out of his black SUV, allowed her friend to drive past the area, walked toward the victim, and continued shooting. She said that she was about ten feet from the Defendant when he allowed her friend to drive away from the area. She said the victim was inside a car when the shooting began and was slumped over when her friend drove away.

         Charles Dowdy testified that he lived at the apartment complex at the time of the shooting, that he knew the victim, and that the victim's nickname was Woo. Mr. Dowdy said the victim came to his apartment around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. before the shooting and stayed about twenty minutes. Mr. Dowdy admitted the victim bought one pound of marijuana for $1, 000 and left. After he saw the victim drive away in a gold or greenish Mazda, Mr. Dowdy returned to his apartment. Mr. Dowdy said that he stepped outside his apartment again and heard gunshots. H e said that although he did not see anyone shooting a gun, he saw a black SUV driving away. He said that he did not see the driver but that he knew the SUV belonged to the Defendant because it had been parked across the street from Mr. Dowdy's apartment previously.

         Mr. Dowdy testified that he reviewed the surveillance recording and that he saw the Defendant's SUV leaving the crime scene. H e said that in the recording, someone got out of the black SUV and walked toward the bushes. M r. Dowdy said the person ...


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