Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Session May 10, 2016.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Cheatham County No. 17162
Larry Wallace, Judge
Cheatham County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant,
Mitchell Blake Puckett, of attempted first degree
premeditated murder, a Class A felony, for which he received
a sixteen-year sentence. On appeal, the Appellant challenges
the sufficiency of the evidence sustaining his conviction. He
concedes that the evidence established he committed attempted
second degree murder but maintains that the State failed to
adduce proof of premeditation to sustain a conviction of
first degree murder. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
L. Baum, Burns, Tennessee (on appeal), and David W. Wyatt,
Ashland City, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant,
Mitchell Blake Puckett.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David
H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District
Attorney General; and Robert S. Wilson, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE.
trial, the victim, James Jameson, testified that around 5:30
or 6:00 p.m. on December 17, 2013, he put a .22 caliber rifle
in the backseat of his Chevrolet Tahoe, loaded his dog in the
vehicle, and left his house to go hunting. As he was driving
on Valley View Road toward Waynoe Road, he saw two young men,
one of whom was the Appellant, walking in the middle of the
road next to the double yellow line. The men lived in the
victim drove up behind them, but they would not move. He
"pulled around, " rolled his window halfway down,
and asked them to get out of the road. The Appellant threw
his arm up and said, "[Y]ou're f[***]ing with the
wrong guy." The Appellant stepped back, pulled a black
pistol out of his pants, and pointed the gun at the victim.
The victim, fearing he would be shot, drove away. The victim
recalled that when he pressed the accelerator, he heard two
gunshots. A bullet struck the glass on the rear passenger
door, and the glass fell out. The victim stopped on the side
of the road and checked his vehicle. He saw a bullet lodged
in the door jamb between the front passenger seat and the
rear passenger seat. The victim said that his rifle was not
close enough for him to reach it and return fire.
victim drove until he was certain he was out of range of the
Appellant's gun. He parked on the side of the road,
called his wife, then called 911. When the police arrived,
the victim told the officers about the shooting.
cross-examination, the victim said that after the Appellant
pulled out the pistol, the Appellant stood in place for
thirty seconds or one minute while pointing the gun at the
victim's head. The victim drove away just before the
Appellant began shooting. The two shots were fired in quick
succession. The victim did not look back as he drove away.
County Sheriff's Deputy Walter Bamman testified that he
and Detective Jeffrey Landis were dispatched to the scene.
The victim told Deputy Bamman that he saw two young men
walking down the road, yelled at them to get out of the road,
and they responded, "[Y]ou are f[***]ing with the wrong
one." After the shooting, the victim drove away and
called 911. Deputy Bamman examined the victim's vehicle
and saw that a window had been shot out and that a
"flattened" round had fallen onto the running board
after it hit the door jamb. The victim showed the deputy