Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs August 8, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2015-B-1238
Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge
Defendant, Brandon Christopher Scott, was sentenced to an
effective twenty-five-year sentence for his guilty-pleaded
convictions to attempted first degree murder and reckless
endangerment. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the
trial court failed to provide adequate analysis in support of
its decision to enhance his sentence to the maximum within
the range for a Class A felony, failed to assign enough
weight to the one mitigating factor it found applicable, and
failed to apply two additional mitigating factors.
Additionally, the Defendant submits that his enhanced
sentence does not comport with the purposes and principles of
our Sentencing Act. Following our review, we find no abuse of
discretion in the trial court's sentencing decision.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Brandon Christopher Scott.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R.
Funk, District Attorney General; and Pamela S. Anderson,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Robert W. Wedemeyer and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
2015, the Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant
on three counts each of attempted first degree murder,
employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous
felony (with a previous dangerous felony conviction), and
reckless endangerment. See Tenn. Code Ann.
§§ 39-11-106, -12-101, -13-103, -13-202, -17-1324.
The Defendant was charged along with three
co-defendants-Jamar D. Medaries, Porcha J. Medaries, and
Vadra L. Jackson. In addition, the attempted murder and
firearm charges named three different victims-one victim
being an eleven-year-old boy, K.M.,  and the reckless
endangerment charges listed three separate residences.
the Defendant entered a guilty plea to one count of attempted
first degree murder involving serious bodily injury of the
eleven-year-old boy and one count of reckless endangerment. At
the guilty plea hearing, the State recited the facts it would
have presented at trial as follows:
[O]n March the 22nd of 2015 a co-defendant, Porscha Medaries,
and Vadra Jackson, had an altercation at a residence on Fern
Avenue that resulted in the two of them leaving that location
and making contact with other persons who included Robert
Meadries as well as Jamar Medaries. Jamar Medaries is a
friend of the [D]efendant['s] . . . . A short time later
the group appeared back in separate vehicles to the location
at Fern Avenue. Jamar Medaries was armed with a .40 caliber
weapon. [The Defendant] arrived in his own vehicle and was in
possession of a .380 caliber pistol. The two women made
statements about shooting up the residence, and Jamar
Medaries and the [D]efendant . . . both fired their weapons.
There were three separate residences that were struck by
gunfire. Based on witness descriptions of the two shooters
and the location where they were each standing police were
able to determine that the shell casings from the gun fired
by [the Defendant] was, in fact, the .380 weapon. One of
those bullets penetrated the residence at 126C Fern Avenue. .
. . [K.M.], who was eleven-years old at the time[, ] . . .
was inside the home when the bullet penetrated the home and
struck [K.M.] in the back of his head. The bullet penetrated
his skull and caused severe brain damage. Miraculously he did
survive, though, he has permanent life altering injuries both
physically and mentally.
The proof in this case would be based upon witness
descriptions of what [the Defendant] was wearing, what he was
driving, as well as a co-defendant's testimony and cell
phone record-call details recording confirming the
communication between [the Defendant] and [Jamar Medaries] as
well as cell tower information that tracked and showed [the
Defendant's] telephone at a different location in
arriving to the Fern Avenue location, leaving from that
location, and going to an apartment where the other
codefendants also arrived. Gwenester Calloway, . . . was the
girlfriend of Robert Medaries, and she told police about the
group of individuals that arrived at her home shortly after
the shooting. And she did, in fact, pick out [the Defendant]
as being one of those individuals as well as Porscha Medaries
and Jamar Medaries.
Defendant agreed to the State's factual stipulation.
to the terms of the plea agreement, the Defendant was
classified as a Range I, standard offender, and he received a
six-year sentence for the reckless endangerment conviction,
which was to be served concurrently with the sentence to be
imposed for the attempted first degree murder conviction. The
length of the attempted first degree murder sentence was left
to the trial court's discretion.
subsequent sentencing hearing,  Detective John Grubbs with the
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Youth Services
Division, testified that he investigated the Fern Avenue
shooting, including viewing the crime scene and the location
of "projectile strikes and casings." Detective
Grubbs confirmed that three different residences were struck
by gunfire on March 22, 2015-address numbers 124, 126B, and
126C. According to Detective Grubbs, the eleven-year-old
victim lived in unit 126C, and the "prelude event
involving an altercation a little bit earlier in the
day" occurred at 126B. Detective Grubbs testified that
the eleven-year-old boy was standing in the doorway of his
residence when he was shot, and a photograph reflected that a
bullet pierced the door's glass window before striking
upon witness interviews and the projectile evidence and
casing evidence[, ]" Detective Grubbs was able to
determine that there were two shooters, one using a .40
caliber weapon and the other shooting a .380 caliber weapon.
Detective Grubbs verified that a .380 caliber bullet was
recovered from the eleven-year-old victim's skull.
Detective Grubbs further testified that there were other
children present in the immediate area just prior to the
cross-examination, Detective Grubbs agreed that the Defendant
"was not present at the prelude event" that
involved Porscha Medaries and the residents of 126B.
Detective Grubbs further verified that the Defendant
communicated with Jamar Medaires by phone just prior to the
shooting but that the Defendant did not communicate with
anyone else involved.
Grubbs also described the "prelude altercation." He
explained that "it was an argument over a relationship
between three females there at the residence[, ]" that
the argument "turned physical[, ]" and that
"one of the people inside that residence end[ed] up
shooting a gun during the altercation[.]" Additionally,
Detective Grubbs received information that, when Porscha
Medaries returned to the Fern Avenue location, accompanied at
that time by the Defendant and Jamar Medaries, she made
"threats [to the 126B occupants . . . that the house was
about to be lit up[.]"
redirect, Detective Grubbs testified that, as a result of his
investigation, it was "learned through cell tower
information and defendants' statements that all of the
parties except Vadra Jackson convened . . . after the
shooting over at an apartment complex[.]"
Sparks testified that she considered the eleven-year-old
victim, K.M., her nephew because she was engaged to
K.M.'s uncle, that K.M. was visiting his grandmother at
126C on the day he was shot, and that K.M.'s siblings
were also there that day. Ms. Sparks described K.M. as
"always active, fun, happy, very independent, just a
happy little boy[, ]" prior to the shooting.
Sparks received a call to go to Vanderbilt Hospital after
K.M. was shot in the back of the head. When Ms. Sparks
arrived at the hospital, "[t]hey didn't think he was
going to make it." According to Ms. Sparks, K.M.'s
parents were told to call out-of-town family members and make
funeral arrangements; K.M. was comatose for several ...