Assigned on Briefs May 2, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 16-38 Kyle
Defendant, Montreal Portis Robinson, was convicted by a
Madison County Circuit Court jury of aggravated robbery, a
Class B felony, and robbery, a Class C felony. He was
sentenced to eight years for the aggravated robbery
conviction and three years for the robbery conviction, to be
served consecutively in the Tennessee Department of
Correction for an effective term of eleven years. On appeal,
the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence
convicting him of aggravated robbery and the trial
court's imposition of consecutive sentences. After
review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit
Sparks, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Montreal
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; James G.
(Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Aaron J.
Chaplin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE
Defendant, Montreal Portis Robinson, and a co-defendant,
Corinthian Person, were charged with two counts of aggravated
robbery stemming from the robberies of Matthew Leonard and
Chad Roaten during a drug transaction. The charge
involving Mr. Roaten as the victim was amended to robbery
trial, Chad Roaten testified that on the evening of May 12,
2015, he went with Matthew Leonard to cash Mr. Leonard's
paycheck. After cashing the check, they stopped at a gas
station and, while there, saw the Defendant and co-defendant
pull up in a white Jeep. Mr. Roaten knew the co-defendant
from having attended elementary school together, and they
started talking. The co-defendant offered to sell them some
marijuana, and Mr. Leonard agreed. The co-defendant told them
to follow him "to Bemis Park where there's no
Roaten testified that Mr. Leonard drove to Bemis Park,
following the Defendant and co-defendant. When they arrived,
Mr. Leonard got out of his car and into the Defendant's
and co-defendant's vehicle, and the co-defendant got into
Mr. Leonard's car. Mr. Roaten and the co-defendant made
small talk about school, and then the co-defendant went back
to the other vehicle. The co-defendant then returned saying
Mr. Leonard owed some money and that they should "give
it up." Mr. Roaten said that he did not have any money
and did not know what the co-defendant was talking about. The
co-defendant went back to the other car and this time
returned with the Defendant. The Defendant got into the
driver's seat of Mr. Leonard's car, and the
co-defendant blocked Mr. Roaten's door so that he could
not exit. The Defendant informed Mr. Roaten, "'This
guy knows what's happening. He knows he owes somebody
some money. He told us it's in this car. Go ahead and
give it up.'" Mr. Roaten got the money out of the
glove box and handed it to the Defendant. The Defendant then
patted down Mr. Roaten, taking his cell phone, knife, and car
keys after making sure he had no money in his wallet. The
Defendant told him that they would leave the phone and car
keys by "the red building" but were taking the
money. The co-defendant stood outside Mr. Roaten's car
door the entire time. Mr. Roaten said that he was in fear
during the encounter and did not feel he could leave.
Roaten testified that Mr. Leonard returned to his car
"freaking out, " saying that a gun had been held to
his head. Mr. Roaten said that he could tell that a third
person was in the Defendant's and co-defendant's
vehicle, but he could not see the individual. After the
robbers left, Mr. Roaten looked by the red building for his
phone and car keys, but they were not there. Meanwhile, Mr.
Leonard knocked on the door of a police officer who lived
nearby. The police arrived, and Mr. Roaten told the officers
who had robbed them. Mr. Roaten pulled up the
co-defendant's profile on Facebook in order to recall his
full name and later identified him from a photographic array.
Sometime later, Mr. Roaten identified the Defendant from a
photographic array as well.
Leonard testified consistently with Mr. Roaten regarding the
events leading up to and during the robbery. Mr. Leonard
elaborated that, when he got into the Defendant's and
co-defendant's vehicle, someone in the seat behind him
put an arm around his neck and a gun to his head. The person
demanded that Mr. Leonard hand over his money and said he
knew that Mr. Leonard had just cashed his paycheck. Mr.
Leonard eventually admitted to the robbers that he had about
$360 in the glove box of his car. Mr. Leonard was unable to
identify the Defendant from a photographic array, ...