Assigned on Briefs January 5, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-06170 James
M. Lammey, Jr., Judge
defendant, Willie Morgan, was convicted by a Shelby County
Criminal Court jury of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony,
and was sentenced to a term of eleven years. On appeal, the
defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain
his conviction and that the trial court erred in excluding
testimony about the victim's compensation fund. After
review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; Barry W. Kuhn (on
appeal), John Zastrow and Joshua Stanton (at trial),
Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Willie Morgan.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Tyler B. Parks and
Gavin Smith, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE.
defendant and a co-defendant, Ashley Proctor, were indicted
for aggravated robbery arising from their taking almost $10,
000 from the victim at gunpoint on July 28, 2013.
trial, the victim, Gregory Bernard, testified that he
withdrew $10, 000 from his credit union in order to purchase
a home at 2087 Hubert, as well as another house in the same
neighborhood, to remodel and resell for a profit. He
elaborated that he began flipping houses after retiring from
the City of Memphis Sewer Department and
"draw[ing]" $100, 000. On July 28, 2013, he went to
the Hubert address to obtain a confirmation letter from the
seller. While he waited for the seller, the victim sat with
some friends under a tree across the street from the house.
He knew people in the neighborhood from his job at the sewer
department and had hung out there after work for several
years. People in the neighborhood knew that he planned to buy
the house on Hubert.
defendant, with whom the victim was acquainted, approached
and joined the victim and his friends. The defendant told the
victim that Ashley Proctor had asked about him and then
called Ms. Proctor from the victim's phone. The victim
also spoke to Ms. Proctor and said that he would come by and
see her when he finished speaking with his friends. The
defendant did not want to wait, so the victim asked his
friend, Otis, to drive them. On the way, the defendant asked
the victim to stop at a store and buy a beer for him. The
victim paid for the beer with cash, pulling the bills from
his right pocket as the defendant stood beside him. The
victim had $70 or $80 in his right pocket and the "big
cash" in his left pocket.
they arrived at Ms. Proctor's, the victim saw a tall,
slim African-American man standing near the driveway. The
victim entered the house, visited with Ms. Proctor's
grandmother, and then spoke with Ms. Proctor in the hallway.
The defendant entered the hallway twice during the
victim's five-minute conversation with Ms. Proctor. The
first time, the defendant gave Ms. Proctor "a look,
" which the victim surmised to be "a jealous
look." The second time, the defendant mumbled something
that the victim could not hear. The victim thought the
defendant was acting "funny" or
victim prepared to leave, he saw Otis, the friend who had
driven him to the house, driving away. The defendant, who was
standing near the side of the house in the driveway, reported
that Otis was going to the store and would return. As the
victim stood on the porch preparing to call Otis, the tall,
slim African-American man, whom the victim observed when he
arrived, approached from around the corner of the house. The
man pointed a handgun at the victim and ordered him to lie
down. The victim lay down on the porch, and the man placed
the gun against the back of his head. The victim believed
that the gunman was about to kill him. As the victim lay
face-down on the concrete, he felt the man's feet beside
his head and other people moving around him. The victim felt
hands simultaneously searching all of his pockets, while the
gun was still held to his head. The victim could tell that
the hands searching ...