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State v. Buchanan

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

September 14, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
PAUL BUCHANAN

          Assigned on Briefs August 15, 2017 at Knoxville

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 14-02411 James C. Beasley, Jr., Judge

         The Appellant, Paul Buchanan, was convicted of aggravated robbery, two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of convicted felon in possession of handgun. The trial court merged the convicted felon in possession of handgun and one of the felon in possession of a firearm convictions into the remaining felon in possession of a firearm conviction and sentenced the Appellant to thirty years for aggravated robbery and to ten years for convicted felon in possession of a firearm, to be served consecutively. On appeal, the Appellant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the convictions. After reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Patrick E. Stegall, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul Buchanan.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE

         Factual Background

         The Appellant was indicted for aggravated robbery for taking money from the person of Antonio Blake by violence or by putting Mr. Blake in fear, with said taking accomplished with a deadly weapon (Count 1), two counts of felon in possession of a firearm (Counts 2 and 3), and one count of convicted felon in possession of handgun (Count 4).

         Jury Trial

         Mr. Blake testified that he resided in a duplex at 1084 North Claybrook Street in Memphis. Charles Lee Guy and the Appellant lived next door. Mr. Blake said that he saw the Appellant frequently.

         On the night of April 13, 2013, a friend dropped Mr. Blake off at his duplex after dinner. Mr. Blake walked up on the porch, unlocked both the exterior security door and interior door, and turned on the inside light. He heard someone coming from the other side of the duplex, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a chrome pistol pointed at his face. The man rushed into his house and asked "if I knew what time it was and where my money was?"[1] The man grabbed Mr. Blake, choked him briefly, and then reached into Mr. Blake's pocket, removed his wallet, and took out five, twenty-dollar bills. Mr. Blake testified that a table and chair were knocked over during the altercation. Mr. Blake testified that he had "no difficulty seeing" the Appellant and that he recognized the Appellant's voice when he asked "if I knew what time it was." Mr. Blake stated that he had spoken with the Appellant many times before and that the Appellant "speaks with a lisp, or something like a slur, kind of stutters sometimes." Although Mr. Blake thought another person was outside, only the Appellant entered his home. After the Appellant left, Mr. Blake called 9-1-1, and law enforcement officers came to his house, talked with him, and took photographs of the scene.

         Mr. Blake subsequently provided a statement to Memphis Police Department ("MPD") Sergeant Jeff Dennison and identified the Appellant in a photographic lineup by placing a red circle around the Appellant's photograph. Mr. Blake testified that he did not hesitate in circling the Appellant's photograph because "[he] knew who robbed [him]." The "photospread" containing six photographs with one photograph circled in red was entered as an exhibit. Mr. Blake also ...


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