Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs April 3, 2018 at Jackson
from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18027 Franklin
L. Russell, Judge
Defendant, Daniel Lee Mooneyhan, appeals his Bedford County
convictions for Count 1: aggravated burglary, and Counts 2
and 4: theft of property between the value of $1, 000 and
$10, 000, for which he received an effective sentence of five
years with a 30% release eligibility, to serve in the
Department of Correction. The Defendant contends that the
evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his
convictions in Counts 1, 2, and 4 because the State offered
no independent evidence to corroborate an accomplice's
testimony about the Defendant's involvement in the
offenses. The Defendant does not appeal his conviction in
Count 3, felon in possession of a handgun. Upon review, we
affirm the judgments of the convictions, but remand for
merger of Counts 2 and 4.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded
W. Parham, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Daniel
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark
B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Robert J. Carter, District
Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE
Factual and Procedural Background
March 2015, the Bedford County Grand Jury indicted the
Defendant on charges of aggravated burglary, two counts of
theft of property between the value of $1, 000 and $10, 000,
felon in possession of a handgun, simple possession of a
Schedule VI drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The
Defendant filed a motion to sever the charges of simple
possession of a Schedule VI drug and possession of drug
paraphernalia from the remaining offenses, which the trial
court granted before trial.
trial, Jamie Blankenship testified that, prior to March 2013,
he lived on Temple Ford Road in Bedford County with Kisha
McGowan and their two children. However, he and Ms. McGowan
ended their relationship in March 2012, and she no longer
lived with him in March 2013. Mr. Blankenship testified that
he had known the Defendant for over twenty years. He stated
that the Defendant had been to his home on numerous
occasions. Mr. Blankenship explained that he and Ms. McGowan
dated for over eighteen years. He explained that, after their
relationship ended, Ms. McGowan continued to visit his
residence to see their children. Mr. Blankenship stated that
Ms. McGowan was dating the Defendant at the time of the
Blankenship worked at Nissan in Smyrna. He explained that the
first few days of March 2013, he had car trouble, which
caused him to have to stay in Smyrna at a friend's
residence for three or four days. When he returned home on
March 10, he saw that his front door was "wide
open." He stated that the door had been closed and
locked when he last left the residence. Mr. Blankenship did
not notice any new damage to the door. When he entered the
residence, Mr. Blankenship noticed that his 50-inch Toshiba
LED television was gone, and he began looking to see if
anything else had been stolen. He testified that the
television was worth about $650. Mr. Blankenship recalled
that two gas-powered remote-controlled trucks worth
"[a]lmost $700 a piece" were also missing.
Additionally, he found that his handgun had been taken, along
with his PlayStation 3 and four to five PlayStation video
games. He testified that the PlayStation 3 was worth $399 and
that the videogames were worth about "$49, $59 a
piece." Regarding his missing handgun, Mr. Blankenship
stated that the gun was a "high-point 9 millimeter
pistol[, ]" which was worth "$179 plus tax."
He further stated that a 50-round box of ammunition had been
stolen and that it was worth about $40. Mr. Blankenship
testified that, during the time period of March 6 to March
10, he had not given permission to anyone to enter his home
and take his property.
discovering that the items had been taken from the residence,
Mr. Blankenship called the Bedford County Sherriff's
Office ("BCSO") to report the crime. About a month
later, the BCSO asked him to identify some items that had
been recovered. Mr. Blankenship was able to identify his
television, PlayStation 3 and video games, and two
gas-powered remote control vehicles. Mr. Blankenship
testified, however, that the recovered items were not in as
good of a condition as they had been before they were stolen.
The sheriff's department did not recover Mr.
cross-examination, Mr. Blankenship testified that his
children stayed with Jeremy and Jennifer Jones while Mr.
Blankenship was in Smyrna. Mr. Blankenship called Ms. McGowan
and explained that he was having car trouble and would not be
home. Mr. Blankenship asked Ms. McGowan if he could borrow
some money to "get a starter for [his] car." He
agreed that he saw no signs of a forced entry into the
residence. Mr. Blankenship testified that Ms. McGowan had a
key to his residence. He explained that Ms. McGowan came to
his residence two or three times a month to visit with their
McGowan testified that, after she and Mr. Blankenship ended
their relationship in 2012, she dated the Defendant. Ms.
McGowan and the Defendant lived together with a friend, Frank
Veal, during this time period. Ms. McGowan and the Defendant
have one child together, who was born in February 2013. She
had previously dated Mr. Blankenship for about eighteen
years, and they had two children. After her relationship with
Mr. Blankenship ended, she continued to visit Mr.
Blankenship's residence to see her children, wash
clothes, and clean the house. She testified that she had not
been promised anything in exchange for her testimony against
the Defendant. Prior to March 6, 2013, the Defendant asked
her to "write a list of things" that he wanted Ms.
McGowan to steal from Mr. Blankenship's residence, such
as the gas-powered trucks, PlayStation 3, 50-inch television,
and a handgun. One night in March 2013, the Defendant
instructed Ms. McGowan to go to Mr. Blankenship's
residence, and she took the list that the Defendant had
dictated to her. The Defendant told Ms. McGowan that, if she
wore her shoes when she committed the burglary, she should
throw them away because "it had been raining[, ]"
and Mr. Blankenship could "look for shoe prints."
Ms. McGowan said that she was not throwing her shoes away, so
the Defendant gave her his shoes to wear during the crime.
The first night the Defendant sent her out to Mr.
Blankenship's residence, she instead went to the river
and sat for a while. She returned to the Defendant,
explaining that she "couldn't go in." When she
returned to their residence without Mr. Blankenship's
property, the Defendant was angry and "[p]ut his hands
on [her]." The Defendant "raised his voice and told
[Ms. McGowan] that [she] needed to go back the next night,
and [she] didn't need to come back empty handed."
following night, the Defendant accompanied Ms. McGowan to Mr.
Blankenship's residence, and they entered the residence
with Ms. McGowan's key. The Defendant helped her carry
the 50-inch television out to her car, and he carried out one
of the gas-powered trucks. Ms. McGowan saw the Defendant take Mr.
Blankenship's handgun. After leaving Mr.
Blankenship's residence, the Defendant and Ms. McGowan
returned to their residence. The Defendant put the 50-inch
television in a detached garage in front of his truck; he put
the remaining items in a "pink tote" and placed it
in the attic. Ms. McGowan stated that the "pink
tote" belonged to the Defendant rather than to her. She
recalled that, a few days after the burglary, the Defendant
bragged to a friend, Jason Bryan, about "all the stuff
he had and show[ed] [Mr. Bryan] the stuff in the tote and the
gun was also there." Subsequently, the Defendant told
Ms. McGowan of an encounter he had with Mr. Bryan. The
Defendant said he had taken the gun to Mr. Bryan to trade for
some marijuana, but Mr. Bryan did not have any. Therefore,
the Defendant kept the gun. Sometime later, Ms. McGowan
overheard the Defendant on the telephone saying that he had
sold the gun to one of his uncles.
March 2013, prior to the offenses, Ms. McGowan leased an
apartment at Bedford Manor. In early April 2013, Ms. McGowan
took her son to the hospital to be treated for RSV. Ms.
McGowan testified that while she was at the hospital with
their son, the Defendant moved the stolen items from their
former residence to her new apartment. The apartment had been
empty for approximately a month since she first leased it and
received the keys. The Defendant and their son lived with
her, and stayed at her apartment as much as she did. Ms.
McGowan confirmed that the 50-inch television in her
apartment, as well as the PlayStation 3, games, and remote
controlled cars, were the same ones taken from Mr.
Blankenship's home during the burglary.
McGowan testified that BCSO Detective-Sergeant Scott Jones
called her while her son was in the hospital and asked her to
come in to the BCSO as soon as she was able. Later that same
day, she received a call from the Defendant. He told Ms.
McGowan that he was in custody at the BCSO and instructed her
to "say he didn't have nothing [sic] to do
with" breaking into Mr. Blankenship's home. He also
instructed her not to say anything about the gun. The BCSO
charged Ms. McGowan with aggravated burglary and theft of
property between the value of $1, 000 and $10, 000.
cross-examination, Ms. McGowan stated that she would spend
the night at Mr. Blankenship's home whenever the
Defendant "kicked [her] out" and she had nowhere
else to go. She also testified that, although she had a key
to her new apartment a few days before the burglary, they had
not taken the stolen items to her apartment but instead
stored the items at their former residence. She explained
that she did not give the Defendant a key to her new
apartment until their son was hospitalized, at which point
the Defendant began moving the stolen items from their former
residence to her new apartment. Ms. McGowan stated that Mr.
Blankenship purchased the television, PlayStation 3, and
games after they ended their relationship; they had not
purchased them together. She testified that, even though the
Defendant had not been inside Mr. Blankenship's house
since Mr. Blankenship had purchased the items, the Defendant
told her to write out a note of the things he wanted her to
steal. Ms. McGowan explained that the Defendant must have
heard about those items through mutual friends of Mr.
Blankenship. Ms. McGowan had no explanation for why she did
not go to her new apartment with her son when the Defendant
was violent with her and demanded she steal from Mr.
Blankenship. She testified that the night she and the
Defendant burglarized Mr. Blankenship's home, they
brought their two-month-old son along with them and left him
in the back seat of the car in his infant carrier. Ms.
McGowan said they slid the 50-inch television into the floor
of the back seat with him. They placed all the other ...