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State v. Robinson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

May 18, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ROY ROBINSON

          Assigned on Briefs April 11, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-05184 James C. Beasley, Jr., Judge

         A Shelby County jury found the defendant, Roy Robinson, guilty of aggravated assault and second degree murder. The trial court imposed an effective twenty-year sentence to be served at one hundred percent, and the defendant appealed. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his second degree murder conviction, arguing he shot his victim in self-defense. The State asserts sufficient evidence exists to support the second degree murder conviction. After our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          James E. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal), Robert Jones, District Public Defender; Amy Mayne and Michael Johnson, Assistant District Public Defenders (at trial), for the appellant, Roy Robinson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Tracy Jones and Ann Schiller, Assistant District Attorney Generals, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE

         FACTS

         On June 15, 2013, the defendant shot and killed Gregory Perry at the Pleasant View Apartments in Shelby County, Tennessee. After shooting Mr. Perry, the defendant turned his gun on Antoine Cash and pulled the trigger. The gun, however, failed to fire, and the defendant fled. The defendant was later charged with the first degree murder of Mr. Perry and the aggravated assault of Mr. Cash.

         Prior to the shooting, the defendant arranged a barbeque for the residents of the Pleasant View Apartments. The barbeque was held on apartment property and drew attendees from two street gangs in the area, the Gangster Disciples and the Vice Lords. According to various witnesses, several arguments arose between members of the Gangster Disciples and the Vice Lords during the barbeque, though they were all resolved peacefully prior to the shooting at issue here. Aware of impending violence surrounding the barbeque, the defendant, also known as "Mack Knockout, " retrieved a gun from his apartment and concealed it on his person for the remainder of the evening. According to the proof at trial, the defendant was a Gangster Disciple, while Mr. Perry was a Vice Lord.

         Kailoni White, a friend of Mr. Perry's and resident of the Pleasant View Apartments, testified that she heard "an altercation on the backside" of the apartments between Mr. Perry and the defendant. Ms. White could see the two men from her kitchen window on the second floor of her apartment building. While looking out the window, she saw Mr. Perry take off his shirt and heard the defendant yelling, "a n***** is gonna learn about me today - they don't call me Knockout for no reason." Believing the defendant and Mr. Perry were going to fight, she walked away from the window. However, instead of fighting, she heard four gunshots. Ms. White left her apartment to help Mr. Perry, who had been shot, and she saw the defendant leave the scene in a car. According to Ms. White, Mr. Perry was unarmed.

         Antoine Cash testified consistently, in large part, with Ms. White's testimony. Mr. Cash stated he was walking with Mr. Perry near a dumpster at the Pleasant View Apartments when Mr. Perry asked him for a cigarette, which he did not have. The defendant then stopped them and offered Mr. Perry a cigarette. Mr. Perry denied the defendant's offer, and instead challenged the defendant to "a one on one, " or a fight. Mr. Perry took off his shirt, but he did not draw a weapon. As he did so, the defendant pulled a gun on the men, and shot Mr. Perry. After firing four or five times, the defendant pointed the gun at Mr. Cash and pulled the trigger. When the gun failed to fire, the defendant fled the scene in a car. Mr. Cash also confirmed Mr. Perry was unarmed.

         Three days after the shooting, police found the defendant hiding in a hotel. Sergeant Gladys Burton of the Memphis Police Department interviewed the defendant, during which the defendant admitted to shooting Mr. Perry. According to the defendant, Mr. Perry challenged him to a "one on one, " and then took off his shirt. When Mr. Perry took off his shirt, the defendant believed he was reaching for a gun. As a result, the defendant reached for his own gun, and fired it four to five times ...


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