Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs January 17, 2018
from the Circuit Court for Maury County No. 23722 Russell
Lesandru Deniesh Webster, was convicted of aggravated robbery
and especially aggravated kidnapping. She received an
effective sentence of thirty-five years and six months. On
appeal, Defendant argues that she was denied her right to a
jury selected from a fair cross-section of the community and
that the evidence was insufficient to support her
convictions. After review, we hold that Defendant is not
entitled to relief. The judgments of the trial court are
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit
Mack Bryant, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lesandru
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Brent Cooper,
District Attorney General; and Kyle Dodd, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr.,
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE.
and Procedural Background
County Grand Jury indicted Defendant for aggravated robbery,
conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, especially
aggravated kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a
felon. Jury selection for a trial on those charges began in
early December of 2015.
to voir dire of the venire jury, Defendant raised an issue
with the composition of the jury pool. Defendant argued that
the percentage of African-Americans in the jury pool was not
an accurate reflection of the population of Maury County.
Defendant argued that there was only one African-American in
the jury pool and Maury County's population is
approximately twelve percent African-American. The clerk
explained that the names from the jury pool are derived from
the Tennessee Department of Safety's list of people with
valid driver's licenses. From that list, a computer
randomly selects the members of the jury pool. Around 650 to
700 jurors were summoned for a four month term of jury
service. Those jurors are then randomly placed on the grand
jury and twelve-member panels. Five or six of those panels
are called to make up venire juries for the trials that take
place during a specific term. For this case, six panels were
called. After questioning the clerk, the trial court found
that "the composition of this particular jury, the petit
jury, has in fact been randomly selected."
the jury issue had been put on the record, the State moved
the trial court to enter a nolle prosequi regarding the
conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and felon in
possession of a firearm charges. Subsequent to that motion,
the trial began. The State's proof consisted of five
witnesses who testified to a largely consistent version of
the facts. The following narrative is derived from their
and Britni Jones were in an off-and-on romantic relationship
for approximately six months leading up to July of 2014. At
that time, they were residing at Kayla Anderson's house
on Nowlin Court in Columbia, Tennessee. Ms. Jones's
children resided with them. On July 19, 2014, Ms. Jones asked
Defendant to arrange for a person, later identified as Robert
Greer, to bring marijuana to the residence of Stephen
Johnson, their neighbor. In the evening on July 19th, Mr.
Johnson encountered Defendant in the parking lot at Nowlin
Court. Defendant approached Mr. Johnson and told him that Ms.
Jones was going to meet a man at Mr. Johnson's house,
watch a movie, and get drunk with him. Defendant further told
Mr. Johnson that she was going to come into the house and rob
them. In the moment, Mr. Johnson did not stand up to
Defendant because he was scared of her.
Ms. Jones got to Mr. Johnson's house, she spent some time
with Mr. Johnson and his girlfriend, Brianna Boshers, before
Mr. Greer arrived. Upon Mr. Greer's arrival, Ms. Jones
asked if he had any marijuana. Mr. Greer said he didn't
bring any marijuana, but he brought alcohol. The group-Ms.
Jones, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Boshers, and Mr. Greer-sat on the
couches in Mr. Johnson's living room and watched
television. At some point, Ms. Jones got up from her seat to
pour everyone a cup of alcohol. As she was doing so, an
intruder came through the back door wearing a camouflage
jumpsuit or coveralls and a mask over their face while
holding a gun. Ms. Jones testified that the intruder told
everyone to "[p]ut our hands up, get on the ground,
empty our pockets, [and] give them everything ...