Session October 3, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County Nos. 14-00025,
13-04715 James M. Lammey, Judge.
Deredious Otis and Carlos Key each were convicted of one
count of first degree premeditated murder and two counts of
attempted first degree murder, and Defendant Brashard Gibbs
was convicted of one count of first degree premeditated
murder, five counts of attempted first degree murder, and
three counts of employing a firearm during the commission of
a dangerous felony. Defendants Otis and Key each were
sentenced to life for their first degree murder conviction
and twenty-five years for each of their attempted first
degree murder convictions, with all sentences to be served
consecutively. Defendant Gibbs was sentenced to life for the
first degree murder conviction, twenty-five years for each of
the five counts of attempted first degree murder, and six
years for each of the three counts of employing a firearm
during the commission of a dangerous felony, with all
sentences to be served consecutively. On appeal, all three
Defendants argue that the evidence is insufficient to support
the verdicts and that the trial court erred in consolidating
the indictments; and Defendants Otis and Gibbs argue that the
court erred in sentencing. Following our review, we affirm
the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
R. Chism (on appeal) and Eric Scott Hall (at trial), Memphis,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Deredious Otis.
Mogy, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brashard Gibbs.
B. Wells (on appeal and at trial) and Arthur F. Horne, III
(at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlos
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich,
District Attorney General; and Raymond Lepone and Neal
Oldham, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE.
crimes resulted from the burglary of the Memphis residence of
"Money Machine D" by his cousin, Joseph Taylor;
Stanley Hibbler; Cortaze Tisdel; and Randy Godwin and their
stealing approximately $100, 000 cash and 80 pounds of
marijuana. As a result of subsequent extravagant purchases
made by Mr. Godwin and Mr. Tisdel, "Money Machine
D" apparently surmised that the men were responsible for
the thefts and enlisted the Defendants to kill them. The
first series of crimes, which resulted in Indictment No.
14-00025, occurred on August 28, 2013, at a carwash on Lamar
Avenue in Memphis as Defendant Key circled the carwash in his
burgundy-colored vehicle. His passengers were Defendant Otis,
armed with two handguns with extended clips, and Defendant
Gibbs, armed with a Chopper double-barreled machine gun, who
sprayed the carwash with bullets. Struck and killed by the
fusillade was Mr. Robbie Webb who was having his car washed
and was not involved in the earlier burglary or theft which
precipitated the shooting. Also at the carwash were Mr.
Tisdel, who was shot in the buttocks, and Mr. Godwin and Mr.
Hibbler, who were not injured. Although Mr. Tisdel initially
denied to police officers that he had been at the carwash at
the time of the shooting, he later admitted he had done so
because he intended to take revenge on the Defendants
second incident involving the Defendants and resulting in
Indictment No. 13-04715 occurred on September 21, 2013, when
Mr. Godwin was driving on Interstate 240 with his cousin,
Traci Lott, and her boyfriend, Edward Bryant. Mr. Godwin saw
a white Dodge Dart pull in behind his vehicle. Defendant Key
was driving while Defendants Otis and Gibbs leaned out of the
car and opened fire on Mr. Godwin's vehicle, riddling it
with bullet holes. Mr. Godwin exited the interstate and
called 911. At this point, he decided to cooperate with the
police regarding the carwash shooting because he believed the
Defendants would continue to try and kill him.
will review the evidence in this matter.
Love testified that, at the time of the carwash shooting, he
was washing a blue Corvette, as the owner stood behind the
stall being used by Mr. Love. Several others, whom he did not
know, were standing nearby. When he heard gunfire, Mr. Love
ran into a nearby store, where he stayed for ten minutes.
When he returned from the store, the deceased victim's
body was on the ground. During the shooting, Mr. Love was
wounded in the arm.
Hibbler testified that he was at the carwash, having his
Corvette washed, as the shots began. The Defendants drove by
the carwash in a burgundy-colored vehicle, firing shots. Mr.
Hibbler dropped behind one of the walls of the carwash until
the shooting stopped. Initially, he did not talk with
officers about the shooting because he intended to kill the
Hibbler said he knew the Defendants from the neighborhood and
that they had been hired to kill him for his role in the
theft of money and drugs from "Little D's"
house. He further said that the deceased victim, who was his
cousin, had not been involved in the theft.
Tisdel testified that he was at the carwash with Mr. Hibbler,
Mr. Godwin, and Mr. Taylor. The Defendants circled the
carwash before opening fire, wounding Mr. Tisdel and killing
Mr. Webb. The witness said that Defendant Gibbs had fired
with a Chopper double-barreled machine gun, while Defendant
Otis had used two handguns with long clips.
Tisdel said he lied to the police about whom the shooters
were because he planned to seek revenge. After a second
attempt was made on his life, however, he gave a statement
identifying the Defendants. He told the officers that
Defendants Gibbs and Otis were the shooters, with Gibbs
wounding him. Mr. Tisdel said that the Defendants had been
looking for him for his part in the theft of 80 pounds of
marijuana and approximately $100, 000 from the house of
"Money Machine D" a month earlier, along with Mr.
Hibbler, Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Godwin. From the proceeds of the
robbery, Mr. Tisdel received about $30, 000, which he used to
purchase clothes, drugs, and an Infinity automobile.
Howell, Jr., testified that he was a friend of the Defendants
and that he told them the night of the carwash shooting that
their names had come up regarding it. Regarding their
involvement in the shooting, the Defendants told Mr. Howell,
"If it was, they won't [have] enough [evidence] to
convict us with it." Defendants Gibbs and Otis also
said, "If we do get caught up in this, they won't
have enough evidence." Mr. Howell took this response to
mean that, while the Defendants had been involved, the police
would not be able to prove it. Mr. Howell said that
"Little D" was a member of the Young Mob gang and
that the shooting was in retaliation for the burglary of his
house when marijuana and money were taken.
Godwin said that, at the time of the carwash shooting, he was
waiting for his vehicle to be washed and was called to the
office. He saw the Defendants' car make a right turn by
the carwash and heard gunshots as he was returning to his
vehicle. He saw that Defendant Key was driving the car, as
Defendants Otis and Gibbs were shooting from it. Several days
later, he happened to see Defendants Otis and Gibbs at a
store where they told him that they would kill him if he
talked with the police about the shooting.
Godwin testified that, a few days after his store encounter
with Defendants Otis and Gibbs, he was driving on Interstate
240, with Ms. Lott and Mr. Bryant as passengers. A white
Dodge Dart came up behind them and shot out the rear window
of his vehicle. Mr. Godwin looked back and saw that Defendant
Key was driving the shooters' vehicle, as Defendants Otis
and Gibbs were leaning out of it. He pulled off the
expressway and called 911.
Bryant testified that on September 21, 2013, he and his
girlfriend, Traci Lott, were riding in Mr. Godwin's truck
on Interstate 240 when the occupants of a white Dodge car
began firing shots at the truck. Mr. Bryant identified
Defendant Gibbs, who was hanging out the back window, as the
shooter and said he had seen Defendant Key driving the white