Assigned on Briefs November 7, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 16-04141 W.
Mark Ward, Judge
defendant, Reggie Horton, appeals his Shelby County Criminal
Court jury convictions of attempted voluntary manslaughter,
aggravated kidnapping, and simple assault, claiming that the
trial court erred by admitting certain evidence and that the
evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of
aggravated kidnapping. Discerning no error, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed
E. Sayle III (on appeal) and Robert Felkner (at trial),
Assistant District Public Defenders, for the appellant,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich,
District Attorney General; and Danielle McCollum and Jamie
Kidd, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee,
State of Tennessee.
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE
2016, the Shelby County Grand Jury charged the defendant with
one count of attempted first degree murder, two counts of
especially aggravated kidnapping, three counts of aggravated
kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated assault. Prior to
trial, the State dismissed one count of especially aggravated
kidnapping, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and one
count of aggravated assault. The trial court conducted a jury
trial on the remaining counts in October 2016. The trial
related to events that occurred on April 27, 2015.
State's proof at trial showed that Tokisha Craig had
three children with the defendant over the course of their
11-year relationship. In 2012, shortly before becoming
pregnant with her youngest child, K.H.,  Ms. Craig met
Kristen Franklin at work. Approximately one year later, Ms.
Craig's friendship with Ms. Franklin transformed into a
romantic relationship, although Ms. Craig was still involved
in a romantic relationship with the defendant as well.
"Not too long" after Ms. Craig began seeing Ms.
Franklin, the defendant learned of the relationship and
"didn't like it." Although Ms. Craig was
initially conflicted, she and her children later moved in
with Ms. Franklin in November 2014. The defendant
"didn't feel like his kids should be growing up with
two women, " and he referred to Ms. Franklin as a
Craig and the defendant did not have a formal agreement as to
custody and visitation; instead, Ms. Craig would bring the
children to the defendant "[w]henever he called and said
that he wanted" them. Initially, the defendant requested
to spend every weekend with the children, but as time passed,
he would make plans to see the children but would fail to
pick them up as planned.
date in early January 2015, the defendant visited Ms. Craig
and the children at the residence they shared with Ms.
Franklin, but Ms. Franklin was not at home during the
defendant's visit and was unaware of the visit. After the
defendant left, Ms. Franklin returned to the residence. Later
that day, the defendant sent text messages to Ms. Franklin
containing photographs of the interior of her residence and
stating that he "had your b[****] last night." Ms.
Franklin responded that she "hope[d he] enjoyed seeing
[his] kids for the last time." The two continued to
taunt one another via text messaging, with Ms. Franklin
referring to the defendant as a "deadbeat." Ms.
Franklin insisted, however, that she had never attempted to
keep the children away from the defendant.
that same evening, the defendant returned to the parking lot
of Ms. Franklin's residence, proclaiming that
"[n]obody's going to take [his] kids away from
[him]." Ms. Craig attempted to reassure the defendant,
but the defendant continued to angrily argue with Ms. Craig.
At Ms. Craig's suggestion, Ms. Franklin returned to the
residence and locked the front door while Ms. Craig attempted
to convince the defendant to calm down.
defendant then kicked open both the front door of the
residence and the locked master bathroom door, and he began
choking and punching Ms. Franklin while threatening to kill
her. Ms. Craig was initially successful in pulling the
defendant away from Ms. Franklin, but in the process, Ms.
Craig fell, and the defendant started toward Ms. Franklin
again. At that time, Ms. Craig pushed the panic button of
their alarm system, and the defendant fled. As a result of
the attack, Ms. Franklin sustained cuts to her neck and
forehead, and photographs of her injuries, as well as a
photograph of the broken bathroom door, were entered into
Craig continued to permit the defendant to visit the
children, and the defendant continued to urge Ms. Craig to
reconcile with him. To that end, he purchased an engagement
ring for Ms. Craig in February, but she did not accept his
proposal of marriage.
April 27, 2015, the defendant sent Ms. Craig a text message
requesting that she and the children meet him to celebrate
his birthday, and Ms. Craig responded that she was
unavailable. Later that same morning, Ms. Craig and Ms.
Franklin, along with 16-month-old K.H., patronized
David's Bridal shop for Ms. Franklin to select a
bridesmaid dress for a friend's wedding. As the trio
exited the store, the defendant rushed toward them wielding a
knife and accusing Ms. Craig and Ms. Franklin of planning to
marry each other while exclaiming, "I'm going to
kill y'all." Ms. Craig attempted to calm the
defendant, but he swung the knife in Ms. Craig's
direction, cutting her arm and her handbag. The defendant
then pushed Ms. Craig out of the way and began attacking Ms.
Franklin, stabbing her in the back, nose, neck, and fingers
while exclaiming that he would kill Ms. Craig when he
finished killing Ms. Franklin. Ms. Craig attempted to pull
the defendant away from Ms. Franklin and, in the scuffle, the
women were able to extricate the knife from the
defendant's hand and fling it away; Ms. Craig's hand
was cut in the process of disarming the defendant. Through
the testimony of Ms. Franklin, the State introduced into
evidence photographs of blood stains in the David's
Bridal parking lot, Ms. Franklin's blood-stained
clothing, and Ms. Franklin's injuries, including a scar
several inches in length on her neck.
stabbing Ms. Franklin, the defendant grabbed Ms. Craig by her
arm and hair and dragged her to his truck, causing her pain
and causing her to lose her shoes and her eyeglasses in the
process. When Ms. Craig was unable to initially enter the
vehicle due to an unrelated ankle injury, the defendant
punched her in the back and in the head, again causing her
pain, before lifting her into the backseat of the truck and
placing her on her stomach. The defendant then positioned his
seat in such a way that Ms. Craig was unable to move, and he
shut the door. The defendant returned to K.H., who was crying
and leaning over Ms. Franklin. He picked up K.H. and placed
her in the backseat of the truck next to Ms. Craig and
quickly drove away.
Cummings, an employee of David's Bridal, was sitting in
her vehicle at 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot waiting for her
shift to start when she heard a woman screaming. Ms. Cummings
got out of her vehicle and saw a "very tall African
American man" grab a woman by her hair and drag the
woman toward his truck. Ms. Cummings saw the man throw the
woman into the backseat of the truck, and he began beating
the woman. Ms. Cummings begged the defendant to stop, but he
told her to "[s]top interfering" as he continued to
"beat this woman within an inch of her life." Ms.
Cummings called 9-1-1 to report the assault and told the
defendant that the police were on their way. At that point,
the defendant grabbed K.H. and "threw her in the car
like she was a football and he closed the door,
forcefully" before "sp[eeding] off as fast as he
Cummings, who was still on her cellular telephone with the
9-1-1 operator, was walking into the bridal store when she
noticed Ms. Franklin lying on the ground. Ms. Cummings could
see that she had been stabbed in the neck and saw a bloody
knife on the ground. The people who were surrounding Ms.
Franklin stated that she had been stabbed, ...