Assigned on Briefs June 6, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 16-93 Roy B.
Morgan, Jr., Judge
Madison County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant,
Marcus Jermaine Brooks, of aggravated assault by
strangulation, a Class C felony, and the trial court
sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to eight years
in confinement. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the
evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. Based
upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
D. Norton, Jr., Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth
Ann Thompson, Senior Counsel; James G. Woodall, District
Attorney General; and Rolf Hazlehurst, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., joined.
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE
February 2016, the Madison County Grand Jury indicted the
Appellant for aggravated assault by strangulation and
misdemeanor assault of his then-girlfriend, Nicole Hewitt
Anderson. On the morning of trial, the trial court announced
that the State was dismissing the misdemeanor assault charge
via nolle prosequi.
trial, the victim testified that she was a history professor
at Lane College and that she and the Appellant, a student at
the college, were in a relationship for two and one-half
years. On September 30, 2015, the victim, who was also a
certified lifeguard, had been hired to work as a lifeguard at
a student pool party. The Appellant was going to the party,
so the victim and the Appellant went to the party together in
the victim's car. The Appellant asked her for a ride home
from the party, and the victim agreed.
victim testified that after the party, a male student
approached her to talk about missing class. The Appellant
asked the student why he was talking to the victim
"after hours" and ordered the victim into her car.
The Appellant and the student "exchanged words, "
and the victim, who was sitting in the passenger seat of her
car, tried to get out to calm the Appellant. However, the
Appellant pushed on the door so that she could not get out.
The Appellant got into the driver's seat and asked the
victim about the student and if she was having a sexual
relationship with him.
victim testified that the Appellant drove to his house on
Davidfield Cove, that they argued during the drive, and that
she told him she did not want to be in a relationship with
him anymore. When they arrived at the Appellant's home,
they were still arguing. The victim got out of her car and
sat in the driver's seat so she could leave, but the
Appellant blocked the driver's door so she could not
close it. He then grabbed her hair, pulled her out of her
car, and pulled her onto the ground in his front yard. The
victim said that the Appellant put his knees on her chest,
that he began strangling and hitting her, and that she was
screaming. She stated,
He's hitting me in the face. I can remember him hitting
me in the face. I was trying to block the punches. But the
main thing that he was -- he was strangling me and I was
trying to tell him to stop and I was trying to scream in
Appellant had both of his hands around the victim's neck
in a "tight choke hold." The victim could not
breathe and was becoming very weak. She stated that "he
would stop every now and then and say some words to
[her]" and that he told her, "'I don't have
any problems with going to jail for you.'" He also
told her, "'My face is the last thing that
you'll ever see[.]'" At that point, the victim
thought the ...