Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs November 16, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 284472
Rebecca J. Stern, Judge
Nathan Bernard Lalone, was convicted of one count of first
degree murder and one count of attempted first degree murder.
He raises the following issues on appeal: (1) the trial court
erred in denying a motion to suppress his statement to police
because he had invoked his right to remain silent; (2) the
trial court erred in denying a motion for leave to file an
interlocutory appeal of the suppression issue; (3) the trial
court erred in denying a motion for judgment of acquittal and
motion for new trial because the accomplice testimony was not
sufficiently corroborated; (4) the trial court erred in
allowing the State to play a videotaped interview of a
witness as a prior inconsistent statement; and (5) the
evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Upon our
review of the record and applicable authorities, we conclude
that the trial court erred in denying Defendant's motion
to suppress and that the error was not harmless. Furthermore,
we conclude that the trial court committed plain error in
admitting a witness's recorded statement into evidence
without following the Rules of Evidence with regard to prior
inconsistent statements. For these two reasons, we reverse
Defendant's convictions and remand the case for a new
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
Court Reversed and Case Remanded
B. Dunn (on appeal); Kevin L. Loper and Jeffrey S.
Schaarschmidt (at trial), Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Nathan Bernard Lalone.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Neal
Pinkston, District Attorney General; and Brian Finlay and
Kristin Spires, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.,
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE
and Procedural History
night of November 16, 2011, Christian Sosa and his
girlfriend, Meghan Bennett, were shot at the tennis courts in
Apison, Tennessee, a suburb of Chattanooga. Mr. Sosa died as
a result of multiple gunshot wounds. In July of 2012,
Defendant was indicted for one count of first degree murder
and one count of attempted first degree murder.
Motion to Suppress Hearing
5, 2014, Defendant filed a motion to suppress a statement he
gave to police on November 17, 2011, on the ground that his
statement was obtained after he invoked his right to remain
silent. At the hearing, no witnesses were called
to testify on the suppression matter. The video-recorded
interrogation of Defendant was played for the trial court and
was entered as an exhibit to the hearing. Defendant did not
contest whether he was subject to a custodial interrogation
and conceded that he was advised of his rights under
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and that he
initially waived those rights. The parties agreed that
anything Defendant said prior to being advised of his rights
would be excluded. However, Defendant argued that he later
invoked his right to remain silent and that any statements he
made thereafter should also be suppressed.
video, a detective entered the interrogation room, told
Defendant that "the case is put together, " and
encouraged Defendant to admit that he "messed up."
Defendant initially believed that he was being questioned
about drugs and was confused about the detective's
reference to a gun. After being read and signing his
Miranda rights, Defendant denied any involvement in
anything that happened to Mr. Sosa. Defendant stated that
Tyler Conrad had a problem with Mr. Sosa over stolen guns and
drugs. Defendant admitted also having a "beef" with
Mr. Sosa over a gun that had been stolen a couple of months
prior. Defendant stated that Mr. Conrad and Defendant's
roommate, Blake Adams, had recently been talking about
"getting" Mr. Sosa and "were really getting
hot about that stuff." Defendant denied owning a gun and
stated that Mr. Conrad had a "40 Glock." Defendant
stated that he was with other people during the past couple
of days who could verify his whereabouts. Defendant stated,
"That's really all I can tell you about that, "
and that he felt "like a f---ing snitch" for
talking about it.
detective asked Defendant, "Do you really think
you're fooling anybody?" Defendant told the
detective to talk to the people he had been with over the
past three days "since I didn't do anything."
The detective responded, "Yeah, you did." Defendant
continued to deny doing anything, and the detective asked
"Do you think you're here by accident?"
Defendant stated that "obviously something went
down" and that Mr. Conrad and Mr. Adams were
"trying to put it on me because they're best
friends." Defendant explained that they probably decided
to put the blame on Defendant because they knew he also had
problems with Mr. Sosa, that he had "a rap sheet, "
and that he was aggressive. Defendant said that if Mr. Conrad
and Mr. Adams were saying he did it, "there is nothing
else I can do" except get witnesses to prove he did not
detective said that he was there to "hear
[Defendant's] side of [the story], " and Defendant
responded, "I just told you my side. It's not even
my side, it's just a story . . . that's the best of
my knowledge that I can tell you of any knowledge that I can
have at all of anything that would have to do with anything
like that." After reiterating that Mr. Conrad had a gun,
had a problem with Mr. Sosa, and had been "talking about
doing stuff" in the past couple of days, Defendant
stated that he was "telling you everything I know to the
best of my knowledge. So I don't know what else you want
me to tell you, but you keep trying to talk to me like
I'm a fool, like I'm just trying to play you, like
I'm trying to play games." The detective responded,
"Yeah, I am." Defendant said, "OK then, well,
then I ain't got nothing else to say 'cause I done
told you whatever I know." The detective responded,
"Take you a rest, I'll be back in a little while,
" and left the room. Just over nine minutes later, a
second detective entered the interrogation room and,
without giving new Miranda warnings, resumed
questioning Defendant by asking him to "establish where
you were yesterday."
the video was played, the trial court stated that it did not
"hear him say I don't want to talk about it"
and that it may have "missed that." The last minute
or so of Defendant's conversation with the first
detective was played again. As defense counsel was presenting
his argument, the trial court stated that it did not
interpret Defendant's statement "I ain't got
nothing else to say" as an invocation of the right to
remain silent. Instead, the trial court interpreted the
statement to mean "[t]here's nothing more I can tell
you about it" or "that's my story and I'm
sticking to it." Defense counsel and the trial court
disagreed about what the first detective was thinking when he
said "take a rest" and left the room. The trial court
stated that it was concerned about the first detective
leaving "then another officer tag-team comes in, "
but that it did not "hear a clear invocation of
[Defendant's] rights." The trial court agreed to
take the matter under advisement and read the case law
submitted by the parties but stated that "the way
I'm reading it right now" was that Defendant did not
invoke his right to remain silent.
to a minute entry, the trial court denied the motion to
suppress on May, 19, 2014; there is no written order in the
record detailing the trial court's findings of fact and
conclusions of law. Defendant filed a second motion to
suppress his statement arguing that Defendant did not
acknowledge that he was waiving his rights when he signed the
rights waiver form. On June 2, 2014, the trial court
overruled the second motion to suppress as well as
Defendant's request for an interlocutory appeal of the
first motion to suppress. The case proceeded to trial on June 3,
10:00 p.m. on November 16, 2011, Meghan Bennett and her
boyfriend, Christian Sosa, drove to the tennis courts in
Apison to meet Tyler Conrad. Ms. Bennett backed her car into
a parking space. The next thing she knew, Mr. Sosa was
telling her to leave and "bullets start[ed] flying in
[her] car." Ms. Bennett ducked and was eventually able
to drive out of the parking lot towards her parents'
10:26 p.m., Hamilton County 911 received a report that nine
gunshots had been fired at the county park and that a small
dark-colored Honda fled the parking lot with its lights off.
At 10:30 p.m., William Bennett, Ms. Bennett's father,
called 911 to report that his daughter and her boyfriend had
been shot. Mr. Bennett reported that his daughter had been
shot in the arm and that her boyfriend had sustained several
gunshot wounds and was deceased. Ms. Bennett can be heard in
the background identifying the shooter as Mr. Conrad because
he was the person who had arranged the meeting at the tennis
Ms. Bennett testified at trial, she described the shooter as
a "bigger person" dressed in black and wearing a
black mask; she expressed disbelief that it was Defendant.
Ms. Bennett was asked to identify individuals in still
photographs taken from a Walmart security video. She
identified Mr. Conrad as well as Blake Adams in two
photographs. Mr. Adams is shown wearing a white shirt and
khaki shorts, and Mr. Conrad is shown wearing a black t-shirt
and dark-colored jeans. In one photograph, Mr. Conrad, Mr.
Adams, and a third person later identified as Sabrina Lovett
are seen entering the store at 10:35 p.m. In the other
photograph, the group is seen leaving the store at 10:50 p.m.
In a third photograph, a car appears to be arriving in the
parking lot around 10:48 p.m. Ms. Bennett identified the car
as belonging to Defendant. Ms. Bennett also identified
Defendant in two photographs showing him inside the store
around 10:52 p.m. Defendant is shown wearing all black and
talking on a cell phone.
cross-examination, Ms. Bennett testified that Defendant and
Mr. Sosa had a prior disagreement that seemed to have been
resolved. She had known Defendant for about six or seven
months and considered him one of her good friends. She had
known Mr. Conrad and Mr. Adams since high school and knew
that they used "[w]hatever [drugs] they could get their
hands on." She stated that Mr. Sosa and Mr. Adams had a
previous physical altercation and that Mr. Adams had anger
problems. She agreed that Defendant was a "bigger
guy" known as "Big Nate" while Mr. Conrad was
of average build. Ms. Bennett agreed that during the 911 call
and later while she was talking to the police, she identified
Mr. Conrad as the shooter because he was the one they were
going to meet. She never mentioned Defendant as a suspect
because she did not believe that he could "have done
that to [her]."
from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office recovered a
total of eleven spent .40 caliber shell casings from in and
around the parking lot of the tennis courts. Photographs of
Ms. Bennett's red Honda were entered into evidence
showing approximately eleven bullet holes in the front
passenger side door and window. Two projectiles were also
found in the vehicle. Defendant's two cars were searched
for glass fragments to compare to the Honda's broken
window, but none were found.
searching the area around the tennis courts for a gun,
Captain Lynn Triplett and another officer found clothes near
a fence line along a gravel road approximately three to four
hundred feet away. Among the clothes was a pair of pants with
Defendant's driver's license in the pocket. On
cross-examination, Captain Triplett agreed that the license
looked weathered. Captain Triplett could not remember the
exact date of the search or whether they were searching the
location at the suggestion of Mr. Conrad.
from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ("TBI")
examined clothing belonging to Defendant for the presence of
blood, gunshot residue, and glass fragments, but nothing was
found. Swabs from Defendant's vehicles also tested
negative for gunshot residue. Clothing belonging to Mr.
Conrad and Mr. Adams were also tested for the
presence of blood, but an officer from the Hamilton County
Sheriff's Office told the TBI agents not to test them for
gunshot residue or glass fragments. The medical examiner
testified that Mr. Sosa sustained approximately ten gunshot
wounds to the arms and torso, but none to his head. The
medical examiner also confirmed that, prior to trial, Mr.
Conrad died as the result of an accidental overdose of
fentanyl, a strong pain killer.
James Gienapp testified that he was involved in the
interrogation of Defendant the day after the shooting.
Detective Gienapp explained that another detective
"attempted to interview" Defendant but that it
"didn't really go anywhere." Detective Gienapp
was asked to continue the interrogation because he was closer
in age to Defendant. The recording of Defendant's
statement was played for the jury and entered into
evidence. In the statement, Defendant stated that he
believed Mr. Conrad was responsible because Mr. Conrad had
been talking about "doing in Chris, " though
Defendant thought he was joking. Defendant initially denied
seeing Mr. Adams and Mr. Conrad that evening but then
admitted that he saw them at Walmart and rode with them back
to the apartment, leaving his car in the parking lot.
Defendant denied having a phone when he went to Walmart.
Defendant admitted that he had a "beef" with Mr.
Sosa because Mr. Sosa had taken Defendant's gun and lied
about it, but Defendant said that they eventually "shook
and made up." Defendant denied shooting Mr. Sosa. After
being urged to tell the truth, Defendant admitted that he and
Mr. Conrad talked about being angry at Mr. Sosa and that
Defendant wanted to "beat his ass." Defendant said
that Mr. Conrad called to set up the meeting with Mr. Sosa
and that Defendant tried to talk Mr. Conrad out of killing
him. Defendant said that Mr. Conrad shot Mr. Sosa, firing
"his whole clip at the car." When Defendant saw Mr.
Conrad again, Mr. Conrad said that "it was done, man,
" but that he was not sure if he killed Ms. Bennett
because he heard "the car take off" as he fled the
scene. Defendant said that Mr. Conrad told him that Ms.
Bennett was crying for her life and that she used Mr.
Sosa's body as a shield. Defendant denied being present
when Mr. Conrad shot Mr. Sosa. When they later met at
Walmart, Defendant said that Mr. Conrad was acting like
nothing happened and did not have a gun on him. Defendant
eventually admitted that he was present during the planning
of the shooting. Defendant admitted that he did not like Mr.
Sosa and wanted to beat him up but insisted that he did not
want to kill Mr. Sosa over a stolen gun.
preparation for trial, Detective Gienapp was asked to drive
between the tennis courts in Apison and the Walmart on
Gunbarrel Road in May of 2014. Detective Gienapp drove
between the locations a total of four times on a Saturday
night between 10:00 and 11:15 p.m., observing all traffic
signals and not passing other drivers. Detective Gienapp was
able to drive from Walmart to the tennis courts at speeds of
less than 50 miles per hour in 19 minutes and 40 seconds. He
then drove back to Walmart at speeds over 50 miles per hour
in 14 minutes and 30 seconds. He then completed a second
round trip at speeds over 50 miles per hour, going from
Walmart to the tennis courts in 15 minutes and 40 seconds and
back in 12 minutes and 26 seconds. On cross-examination,
Detective Gienapp admitted that he encountered some light
traffic during his test and that he did not know if the
traffic was heavier on a Saturday night than on a Wednesday
night. Detective Gienapp stated that he took the same route
suggested by his GPS each time and admitted that he did not
know of any short cuts. Detective Gienapp also admitted that
he drove at speeds only 5 to 10 miles per hour over the
posted speed limit.
Adams testified for the State at trial. He stated that Mr.
Conrad, who had passed away prior to trial, was his best
friend and that they were nearly inseparable. Mr. Adams was
also friends with both of the victims as well as Ms. Lovett,
who lived in his apartment complex. Mr. Adams also socialized
with Defendant, though they were not as close as Mr. Adams
and Mr. Conrad. Mr. Adams admitted that both he and Mr.
Conrad used drugs. Mr. Adams had recently picked Mr. Conrad
up from a rehabilitation center in Alabama because Mr. Conrad
"was doing so many drugs down there" that were
worse than the drugs available at Mr. Adams's residence.
Adams admitted that he could not remember most of the events
of November 16, 2011, because of his overuse of a
prescription anti-anxiety medication on the date in question.
Mr. Adams stated several times during his testimony that his
memory was "blurry" and that he "might be
mistaken" about what he remembered happening. Mr. Adams
could remember going to Walmart and checking out, though he
was confused about what he had purchased. Mr. Adams was
"pretty sure" that he went to Walmart with Ms.
Lovett and Mr. Conrad, that they drove together in his gold
Honda Accord, and that it was dark outside when they arrived.
Defendant was not with them at that time. Mr. Adams recalled
speaking to Defendant on the phone and remembered "only
one thing he said out of the whole conversation, " which
was "I hit him in the dome." Mr. Adams explained
that "dome" means head and that he
"guess[ed]" that Defendant was referring to Mr.
Sosa, though he did not know that at the time. When asked
directly, Mr. Adams denied that either he or Mr. Conrad
killed Mr. Sosa and shot Ms. Bennett. Mr. Adams stated that
he and Mr. Conrad were together the entire night.
cross-examination, Mr. Adams recalled being taken into
custody around 3:00 a.m. on November 17, 2011, and being
questioned by the police for a long period of time, though he
could not remember many specific details about the
questioning. Defense counsel read portions of the transcript
of Mr. Adams's statement in an attempt to refresh his
recollection. The transcript indicated that one of the first
things Mr. Adams told the detective interviewing him was that
he was at Walmart the night of the shooting and that he had a
receipt to corroborate his alibi. Mr. Adams did not recall
telling the detective that Ms. Lovett also had a receipt from
Walmart but explained that he was probably being sarcastic
when he said that. Mr. Adams testified that he was nowhere
near the tennis courts that day and that he "was always
in sight of something." Mr. Adams did not recall telling
the officer that he went to the tennis courts after being
told by a friend that something was happening over there. Mr.
Adams explained that he was scared during the interrogation,
that it was "an extreme terrible adrenaline rush, "
and that he was "just blabbering on." Mr. Adams
indicated that he was afraid of Defendant.
Adams did not recall naming as possible suspects two
African-American individuals known as "Shin" and
"L.A." Mr. Adams stated that he could not remember
statements made during the early portion of his interrogation
and suggested that he did not "come down enough to
remember" what he said until "about page 100 and
something" of the transcript. Mr. Adams recalled that
the police collected his clothing and that he asked the
officers whether his clothing had any blood spatter on them.
Mr. Adams explained that he was attempting to prove his
innocence based on what he had seen on television. Mr. Adams
agreed that, at one point, he suggested that Mr. Conrad was
responsible but explained that he did not want to say
Defendant's name because he was scared of him. Mr. Adams
agreed that Mr. Sosa was his friend but admitted that, in his
statement, he called Mr. Sosa "retarded" and
"slow." Mr. Adams initially told the detective that
he had not seen Mr. Sosa for a few months, but then stated
that they had had a falling out about two weeks prior. Mr.
Adams denied that the falling out was over Mr. Sosa's
stealing Mr. Conrad's gun. Mr. Adams recalled that after
nearly eleven hours of questioning, he accompanied the police
to the tennis courts and looked in a wooded area for a gun.
Mr. Adams's poor memory and the confusing nature of his
prior statements read out of context, both parties and the
trial court agreed to play for the jury two excerpts from Mr.
Adam's video-recorded statement and to make the entire
recording an exhibit. The recording consists of three disks
covering a nearly twelve-hour span of time and containing
multiple conversations between Mr. Adams and the detective.
It is not clear to this Court which portions of the statement
were played for the jury because the times indicated in the
transcript do not seem to correspond to the timestamps on the
video for any portion of the statement that would have much
significance to either party.
our review of the video, we note that while being advised of
his rights, Mr. Adams denied being under the influence of
drugs, but later told the detective that he had difficulty
remembering things because he took Klonopin daily. Much of
this first statement corresponds with questions asked of Mr.
Adams on cross-examination. Mr. Adams told the detective that
he wanted to get to the details of this "crazy story,
" which he could corroborate because he had receipts and
was on camera "at the time of the person's
death." After Mr. Adams tried to give a timeline of his
day, he eventually admitted to the detective that he went by
the tennis courts after being told by a friend that
"something crazy" had happened there. Mr. Adams
stated that while he was at the scene "rubbernecking,
" another friend heard from someone that Mr. Sosa had
two guns in the car when he was shot. Mr. Adams denied that
Mr. Conrad said anything about meeting Mr. Sosa and denied
knowing why Mr. Sosa was at the tennis courts.
Adams did not mention Defendant, whom he referred to as
"Nate Gomez, " until his second conversation with
the detective almost an hour later. Mr. Adams told the
detective that Defendant left the apartment around 10:00 or
11:00 p.m. to visit a girl named Tory. Mr. Adams denied that
anyone at the apartment had a gun "as far as [he
knew]." Mr. Adams initially denied meeting Defendant at
Walmart, then stated that Defendant met them there ten to
fifteen minutes after they had arrived. Mr. Adams told the
detective that Defendant and Mr. Conrad were talking about
beating up Mr. Sosa because he had stolen some marijuana and
a gun. Mr. Adams said that Defendant might have told Mr.
Conrad to call Mr. Sosa but then stated that Defendant pulled
out a gun and made Mr. Conrad call Mr. Sosa.
recording on the third disk begins after a gap of almost six
hours, seemingly mid-conversation. The detective accused Mr.
Adams, Mr. Conrad, Ms. Lovett, and Defendant of planning the
shooting. Mr. Adams admitted that he and Defendant
"fantasized" about it, that Defendant said he was
going to do it, and that Mr. Conrad called Mr. Sosa on
Defendant's phone to set it up. Mr. Adams stated that
when Defendant met the others at Walmart, he told them that
he had wrapped the gun in a black shirt and thrown it into
the woods. Even though Mr. Adams said that Defendant went to
the tennis courts by himself, he described where
Defendant's and Mr. Sosa's vehicles were positioned
in the parking lot and said that Defendant fired twelve
shots. At various points throughout the recording, while the
detective is out of the room, Mr. Adams can be seen talking
to Mr. Conrad through the wall of the interview room about
their situation and what had been said to the police, though
Mr. Conrad's responses are inaudible.
Lovett also testified for the State. She stated that she was
friends with Defendant and Mr. Adams, that she had just met
Mr. Conrad, and that she did not know either Mr. Sosa or Ms.
Bennett. Ms. Lovett admitted that she went to Walmart with
Mr. Adams and Mr. Conrad and that they met Defendant there.
She said that the four of them left the store in the same
vehicle and that Defendant "said something about the
dome, " though Ms. Lovett could not remember if he said
"he hit him in the dome or somebody hit him in the dome
or he wanted to go home." She described Defendant as
acting normal that night.
Lovett testified that on November 16, 2011, she was
"hanging out" and smoking marijuana with Defendant,
Mr. Adams, and Mr. Conrad. Mr. Adams was talking about an
earlier confrontation with Mr. Sosa at a gas station and was
"pretty pissed about it and started saying that he
wanted something done and that he was going to get Christian
somehow." Ms. Lovett tried to calm Mr. Adams down, but
he remained upset and "fidgety." Both Mr. Conrad
and Defendant were involved in the conversation. Defendant
also seemed upset for "a little bit . . . then he
stopped." Defendant then left, saying he was going to
Tory's and that he would meet them later. Ms. Lovett then
accompanied Mr. Adams and Mr. Conrad to Walmart.
Lovett testified that while the foursome were "hanging
out" earlier in the evening, Mr. Adams kept bringing up
something Mr. Sosa had done that "just wasn't right,
" but Ms. Lovett did not know what Mr. Sosa had done or
to whom. Mr. Adams said that Mr. Sosa would "get paid
back for it." Defendant seemed calm, "like he was
listening." Mr. Adams talked about "getting rid
of" Mr. Sosa while Defendant talked about fighting him.
Ms. Lovett did not recall Defendant saying that Mr. Sosa
should get what he deserved. After Mr. Adams spoke to Mr.
Conrad in a back room, Mr. Conrad called Mr. Sosa. Ms. Lovett
thought the conversation seemed "agitated" but did
not know if they were arguing or talking. Ms. Lovett
explained that Mr. Adams and Mr. Conrad talked about the
Apison tennis courts and that Mr. Conrad told Mr. Sosa to
meet him there. Ms. Lovett knew the others were talking about
hurting Mr. Sosa before Mr. Conrad made the phone call and
was afraid they were going to do something. When Mr. Adams
said that Mr. Sosa's girlfriend would be with him,
Defendant said that was not good; Mr. Adams called Ms.
Bennett "the B word." When Defendant left, he did
not say he was going to the tennis courts but said that if he
saw Mr. Sosa, "they would get into it." Ms. Lovett
explained that the plan was for her, Mr. Adams, and Mr.
Conrad to go to Walmart to buy something so that
"everybody would be seen." She stated that she was
with Mr. Adams and Mr. Conrad all evening except for a brief
period while at Walmart. She denied that they went to the
request of the State, Ms. Lovett's video-recorded
statement to police was played for the jury. In the video,
the detective talking to Ms. Lovett indicated that he did not
believe that she told the truth when they spoke earlier and
that they were speaking again at Ms. Lovett's request.
Ms. Lovett told the detective that she, Mr. Adams, Mr.
Conrad, and Defendant were smoking marijuana in Mr.
Adams's apartment. After Mr. Adams went to the gas
station, he talked about an argument he had with Mr. Sosa and
said that he wanted to "hit that bitch." Mr. Adams
and Defendant were both upset because Mr. Sosa had either
robbed them or disrespected someone. Ms. Lovett said that
Defendant placed a gun on the table and, with Mr. Adams's
encouragement, said he was going to do it. Mr. Adams stated
that he wished that he "could get him back, " and
Defendant stated that Mr. Sosa needed to "get what he
deserves." Ms. Lovett explained that Defendant would
periodically calm down until Mr. Adams brought the subject
back up and made him angry again.
Lovett admitted to the detective that after unsuccessfully
trying to calm the other two down, she and Mr. Conrad helped
them plan the shooting. She said that Mr. Conrad initially
mentioned the tennis courts in Apison. Mr. Adams asked Mr.
Conrad to call Mr. Sosa on Defendant's phone so that Mr.
Sosa would not know that Mr. Adams was involved. When Mr.
Sosa mentioned that Ms. Bennett would be with him, Defendant
"backed off" because he did not want to do it
"with a girl there." Mr. Adams then suggested that
Ms. Bennett probably helped Mr. Sosa and that she would tell
people that they were going to the tennis courts. Eventually,
Defendant said that he was going to go through with it but
did not say what he was going to do about Ms. Bennett. Mr.
Conrad stated, "You know, if you kill Chris, you're
going to have to get Meghan, too, " and Defendant agreed
that "she knows who I am." Ms. Lovett said that
they originally did not know who was going to do it but that
eventually Defendant "snapped" and said he was
going to do it. Ms. Lovett explained that the plan was for
her, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Conrad to go to Walmart and get a
receipt and that Defendant would than meet them after it
Lovett explained to the detective that Mr. Adams was
concerned that they needed more time to plan, that she
answered his questions about "CSI stuff, " and that
Defendant agreed to do it the following day. However, when
Mr. Sosa called back, Mr. Adams became upset again, and
Defendant agreed that it was "time to do this
shit." Defendant left in his Cadillac, and the others
went to Walmart in Mr. Adams's vehicle. Mr. Conrad was in
touch by phone with both Mr. Sosa and Defendant. When Mr.
Sosa was running late, Defendant said that he was going to
leave until Mr. Conrad told him that Mr. Sosa was on the way.
When Defendant met them outside the Walmart, he said, "I
did it." In response to Mr. Adams's questions,
Defendant said that he shot Mr. Sosa "in the dome"
and that he was "pretty sure" that he also got Ms.
Bennett. Ms. Lovett said she was not sure if Defendant was
telling the truth until she saw the news the following
morning and encountered police at Mr. Adams's apartment.
Ms. Lovett denied hearing anyone say what had happened to the
gun. Ms. Lovett admitted that she originally told the police
that Defendant was in the car in the parking lot while the
others were in Walmart.
cross-examination, Ms. Lovett agreed that she made the
following statement to Mr. Adams in ...