Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs January 18, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2014-D-2991
J. Randall Wyatt, Jr., Judge
Defendant, John Alfred Waters, appeals as of right from his
convictions for aggravated assault, violation of an order of
protection, and attempted aggravated burglary. The Defendant
contends (1) that there was insufficient evidence to support
his convictions for aggravated assault as charged in counts
6, 7, and 8; (2) that the trial court erred when it admitted
evidence of the Defendant's previous conviction for
violating an order of protection; and (3) that the trial
court erred in allowing a police officer to testify that one
of the victims was the "most terrified" victim he
had ever seen because such evidence was irrelevant and unduly
prejudicial. Following our review, we
affirm the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
Rae Tennent (on appeal); and Emily Herbert and Ellen
Forrester (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee for the Defendant,
John Alfred Waters.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark
B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney
General; Amy Hunter and Jeffrey Jackson Assistant District
Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.,
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
case arose after the Defendant twice entered an apartment
complex on Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Nashville, Tennessee,
where his ex-girlfriend lived. The Davidson County Grand Jury
charged the Defendant with eight counts of aggravated
assault; two counts of violating an order of protection; one
count of attempted burglary; and one count of aggravated
stalking. Specifically, the Defendant was accused of the
Count 1: Aggravated Assault against Annette
Hill on June 23, 2014, by violating an order of protection.
Court 2: Violation of an Order of Protection
by having contact with Annette Hill on June 23, 2014.
Court 3: Aggravated Assault against Kimberly
Simpson on June 23, 2014, by use or display of a deadly
Count 4: Aggravated Assault against Annette
Hill on June 23, 2014, by use or display of a deadly weapon.
Count 5: Attempted Aggravated Burglary of
Annette Hill's home on June 23, 2014.
Count 6: Aggravated Assault against Annette
Hill on June 24, 2014, by use or display of a deadly weapon.
Count 7: Aggravated Assault against Kimberly
Simpson on June 24, 2014, by use or display of a deadly
Count 8: Aggravated Assault against Ronda
Armstrong on June 24, 2014, by use or display of a deadly
Count 9: Aggravated Assault against Officer
Troy Loewen on June 24, 2014, by use or display of a deadly
Count 10: Aggravated Assault against
Sergeant Terrance Demarest on June 24, 2014, by use or
display of a deadly weapon.
Count 11: Violation of an Order of
Protection by having contact with Annette Hill on June 24,
Count 12: Aggravated Stalking of Annette
Hill on June 23 and 24, 2014.
See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-12-101; -13-102,
-13-113, -13-402; -14-403; -17-315. Prior to trial, the
Defendant pled guilty to Count 11 for violating an order of
protection and Count 12 for aggravated stalking. The case
proceeded to a jury trial on September 8, 2015, on the
remaining ten counts.
Simpson testified that on June 23, 2014, she was involved in
an incident at an apartment complex on Rosa L. Parks
Boulevard. She explained that she called the police because
she was "assaulted running in [her] building." Ms.
Simpson identified the Defendant as the man who attacked her
that day at the apartment complex.
stated that she had been at a baseball game, and a friend had
driven her home. Ms. Simpson testified that she "always
[ran] into her building . . . [b]ecause she lived[ed] all the
way at the top, so [she ran] all the way up the stairs."
She stated that as she was running to her building, she
noticed "[a] guy walking down the sidewalk with a long
silver thing and that was out of the ordinary in [her]
building[.]" When she ran back to see what was going on,
she saw "a guy with a white t-shirt on[, ]" who
"was coming down the sidewalk[.]" According to Ms.
Simpson, the man "was already behind" her, and she
"could hear his shoes and [his] laughing and saying, . .
. 'Ah, ha, I got you now b---h." Ms. Simpson also
testified that the man said, "I'm fixin' to kill
you[r] a-s." She explained that when she "turned
around[, ]" she "had her hand up because . . . he
was swinging [the thing in his hand] and [she] put [her] arm
up . . . and started screaming." She stated that she
believed that this man was "trying to kill" her and
that she "had to hit him. [She] hit him two, two or
three times and knocked him over." She claimed that she
blocked the swing from the man, and that defending herself
"was how she got [the] scar on her arm[.]" She
further explained that when she
blocked the swing [she] put [her] arm up . . . because he was
swinging too fast and [she] put [her] arm up . . . and he
looked at [her] and [she] just punched him. [She] just
punched him and knocked him over . . . the rail - so [she]
could get to the step, [she] knocked him over the rail and
then [they] . . . had eye-to-eye contact and when he looked
at [her], he looked [as if he] got the wrong person and then
he continued to go on.
testified that at that point, she recognized the man as the
Defendant because she had previously "seen him in the
building." She stated that once they made eye contact,
the Defendant continued up the stairs to the second level of
the apartment complex where Ms. Annette Hill lived. Ms.
Simpson claimed that she observed the Defendant approach Ms.
Hill's door, and using "the thing that he attacked
[Ms. Simpson] with[, ]" he tried "to get into [Ms.
Hill's] apartment." She explained that the
"thing" was "a long thing with a hook on it
and it had like a hammer at the end, like a little size of a
hammer at the end of it." She said that it was made of
"steel" or "metal[.]" She testified that
after observing him run to Ms. Hill's apartment door, the
Defendant took "the hook and he was just prying and he
was trying to get in [Ms. Hill's apartment], but he
couldn't get it, so he was still trying, he was kicking
it and everything. He couldn't get in." Ms. Simpson
testified that she called the police and
when [the Defendant] heard [her] talking to the police he
stopped working on [Ms. Hill's] door and then he started
taking his clothes off and [Ms. Simpson told] the police that
he [was] taking off his clothes. [The Defendant was] getting
naked and then . . . he went down the steps . . . he went to
the left and came back and he didn't have nothing on and
then he went to the right and [Ms. Simpson] didn't see
asked how she felt during this time, Ms. Simpson testified
that she "feared where [she] lived" and that she
"feared for [her] life." She further testified that
she "couldn't sleep. [She] couldn't eat,
nothing, and [she had] never feared anything in her
life[.]" She stated that the police officers
"showed up . . . three or four minutes later" and