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State v. Loyde

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

April 23, 2018


          Assigned on Briefs April 3, 2018 at Jackson

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2013-A-430 Seth W. Norman, Judge.

         The defendant, Mack Mandrell Loyde, was convicted of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a career offender for the aggravated burglary and employing a firearm convictions, and imposed fifteen-year sentences for each. For the aggravated robbery conviction, the trial court sentenced the defendant as a repeat violent offender to life without parole. On appeal, the defendant argues the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions. The defendant also challenges the trial court's sentencing as to his status as a repeat violent offender and resulting life sentence without the possibility of parole. Following our review, we affirm the trial court's application of the repeat violent offender statute to the defendant's aggravated robbery conviction and the trial court's determination as to the sufficiency of the evidence for the three convictions, but remand the case to the trial court for a hearing on the matter of sentencing as to Counts 1 and 3.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed in Part and Reversed in Part; Case Remanded

          Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mack Mandrell Loyde.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm and Vince Wyatt, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr. and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.


          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE.


         I. Trial

         This case arises from the aggravated robbery and burglary of the victim, William Covington, on September 22, 2012. For his participation in the crimes, the defendant was charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-402; 39-14-403; 39-17-1324(b). After hiring initial trial counsel, the trial court subsequently appointed four other attorneys to the defendant's case after each previously appointed attorney withdrew. As a result, the defendant proceeded to trial on February 22, 2016 with his fifth attorney. At trial, the State presented the following facts for the jury's review.

         The victim testified that he was "drinking some beer" with Brandy Oldaker at his apartment in Donelson, Tennessee, on the evening of September 22, 2012. After he and Ms. Oldaker "fooled around for a little bit, " the victim "passed out from whatever was given to [him]." When he awoke, the victim was "tied or bound . . . face down in [his] own couch, " and Ms. Oldaker was gone. The victim explained, "when I tried to get up I got a knee put into my back and a gun put to the back of my head. Someone stated, '[d]on't f***ing move or I will blow your head off" The victim admitted he did not see the gun that was placed on the back of his head, but he believed it was a revolver due to his military training. While still bound on the couch, he heard "two to three males talking about hit[ting] the back of the house."

         After the men left his apartment, the victim called 9-1-1 at approximately 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived, they removed the zip ties binding the victim's arms and legs, and secured the apartment. The victim realized "[t]here were multiple firearms missing." Specifically, the victim testified a 12-gauge shotgun, an AK-47, and a .22 long rifle were taken from his apartment along with his wallet, two computers, and "some tablets." The victim's wallet contained his debit and credit cards and his military ID. He believed the value of the stolen items totaled over $15, 000. The victim stated a camera installed above his front door had been knocked to the ground during the robbery, noting it did not record any of the events of September 22, 2012. Additionally, during his testimony, the victim reviewed photographs of his apartment and the camera which were entered into evidence. The victim's shotgun, along with "all of the rounds that were in the shotgun and on the butt cuff that night, " and a photograph of the same were entered into evidence. The victim also identified his military ID and a Hewlett Packard notebook as items taken during the crimes, both were entered into evidence.

         During cross-examination, the victim testified that Ms. Oldaker knows the defendant and she may have put something in his drink to allow for the crimes. He told police officers of his suspicions and, according to the victim, officers "actually arrested [Ms. Oldaker] that night on unrelated charges." Regarding the investigation, the victim stated he remained in the parking lot of his apartment complex while officers searched his apartment. However, at one point, officers "asked [the victim] to come back in the apartment... to show them where something was located that was taken." While inside, the victim saw officers dust his coffee table, front door, and bedroom door for fingerprints.

         Amber Norris, the defendant's ex-girlfriend, then testified. On the night of September 22, 2012, she locked the defendant out of her apartment after he left to "go to Walmart and some things like that" and did not return before midnight. The next morning, she "stepped on a barrel of some sort of a weapon" as she got out of bed. In doing so, she "knew that something was off, " but went to the bathroom to get ready for work. While in the bathroom around 5:30 a.m., Ms. Norris saw the defendant enter her apartment through the balcony door carrying a duffle bag, a shotgun, and a "toboggan with the eye holes in it." Ms. Norris saw a handgun inside the defendant's duffle bag and saw a check with "[t]he name William Covington" sitting on her coffee table. Ms. Norris identified the toboggan the defendant wore on the morning of September 23, 2012, the handgun she saw inside the defendant's duffle bag, and the shotgun the defendant was holding when he entered her apartment as exhibits at trial.

         When Ms. Norris left her apartment, she called the police to inform them that "something was not right . . . and [she] did not want to be involved in it." Ms. Norris worried she would be linked to the defendant's criminal activity because he drove her car the evening of September 22, 2012 and "he brought stuff back to [her] apartment." After explaining the situation to several officers, they escorted Ms. Norris back to her apartment where she unlocked the door and then waited outside. When officers entered her apartment, they found a woman, Meganne Ball, inside who Ms. Norris did not know.

         Meganne Ball testified the defendant invited her to what she believed to be his deceased mother's apartment for breakfast on the morning of September 23, 2012. She knew the defendant because he frequented the Walmart store where she worked. After finishing her shift around 7:00 a.m., Ms. Ball drove to Ms. Norris's apartment where she and the defendant took a nap. The defendant left to run an errand, and while he was gone, police officers entered the apartment and searched her. Upon his return, officers arrested the defendant outside Ms. Norris's apartment.

         Agent Stewart participated in the arrest of the defendant. He read the defendant his Miranda rights, and "[i]mmediately after Miranda [the defendant] was like, I know I'm being arrested, I was just the lookout, I was just the lookout." The defendant continued, stating he drove "Kevin and Bryan" in a Honda Accord to the scene of the robbery, but he did not go inside the apartment. Rather, the defendant maintained he served as a lookout for the two who committed the robbery. The defendant told Agent Stewart he received the shotgun, ...

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