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State v. Milon

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

October 19, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ERIC MILON

          Assigned on Briefs June 6, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 14-02454 Paula Skahan, Judge

         A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Eric Milon, of being a felon in possession of a firearm and of being a felon in possession of a handgun. The trial court merged the two convictions and sentenced the Defendant to five years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress evidence seized during a stop and search of the Defendant and when it admitted inadmissible hearsay. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

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

          Stephen Bush, District Public Defender; Taurus Bailey (at trial) and Phyllis Aluko (on appeal), Assistant District Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Milon.

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

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Norma McGee Ogle, J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.

         I. Facts

         This case arises from the Defendant and a woman being approached on the street by two police officers based on an anonymous complainant who had reported that the Defendant and his companion were in an argument, the Defendant was armed, and the Defendant had warrants out for his arrest. Upon questioning by the officers, the Defendant admitted that he was armed, and, after a pat down of the Defendant, one of the officers found a loaded weapon in his waistband, for which the Defendant did not have a permit. The officers detained the Defendant. Based on these facts, a Shelby County grand jury indicted the Defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a handgun.

         A. Trial

         On the day of trial, before voir dire, the Defendant informed the trial court that he had filed a motion to suppress the search of his person and the evidence seized. It appears that the motion was neither filed with the trial court nor was a copy given to the State until the day of trial. The State responded that the police officer who conducted the stop and search of the Defendant was not available to testify on that particular day. The trial court found that the Defendant's motion was not timely, considering that the Defendant's indictment was two years old and that the trial had been reset multiple times. The trial court declined to hear the motion. A jury was selected, following which the Defendant filed a motion in limine, contending that the police officer's testimony about the anonymous complainant's 911 call was inadmissible hearsay. The trial court heard arguments from both sides and ruled that the anonymous tip was not being offered for the truth of the matter asserted and thus was not inadmissible hearsay.

         The State then presented the following evidence: Officer Chad Conley testified that he was employed by the Memphis Police Department and that he responded to a call on November 22, 2013, which he described as an "anonymous complaint" regarding a "male and female involved in some type of fight." The complainant did not specify whether the fight was physical or verbal but described the male individual as wearing "a New York style jacket" and stated that the male individual "possibly had warrants and may be armed with a handgun."

         Officer Conley and his partner responded to the location identified by the complainant and initially did not see anyone fitting the complainant's description. After a few moments, they spotted a male and a female walking down the street together; the male was wearing the "New York styled jacket as described" by the complainant. Officer Conley and his partner approached the couple on foot and asked them to "come here." The officers spoke with the couple and asked if anything was "going on." The female replied, "No." Officer Conley asked if the couple had been in a fight, and the female responded that they had been arguing but were "fine now." Officer Conley asked the male, the Defendant, if he was armed, and the Defendant admitted that he was. "[F]or officer safety, " the officers detained the Defendant and took the weapon out of the Defendant's possession. When asked if he had a permit for the weapon, the Defendant replied that he did not. The ...


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