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State v. Lee

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

May 18, 2018


          Assigned on Briefs April 3, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 14-522 Kyle Atkins, Judge

         The defendant, Dequevion Lamar Lee, was convicted by a Madison County jury for attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. On appeal, he argues the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand the case for entry of a corrected judgment form as to count two reflecting the defendant's aggravated assault conviction was merged with count one.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court Affirmed and Remanded for Entry of Corrected Judgment

          Joseph Taggart, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, DeQuevion Lamar Lee.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Garret D. Ward, Assistant Attorney General; Jody Pickens, District Attorney General; and Ben Mayo, Assistant District Attorney 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

         Facts and Procedural History

         A Madison County grand jury indicted the defendant and his co-defendant, Moriarco Montrell Lee, with one count of attempted first degree murder and one count of aggravated assault involving the use of a deadly weapon. These indictments arose out of a shooting that occurred on December 10, 2013, at 359 Lane Ave in Jackson, Tennessee, next to the Tight Cuts Barbershop ("barbershop"). The defendant and co-defendant arrived at the barbershop and shot the victim, Marketus Hendrix, several times before fleeing. The victim survived the shooting and later identified both men as his attackers.

         The victim testified that, on December 10, 2013, around 3:00 p.m., he drove to the barbershop. As he exited his car, a person the victim knew only as "Yogi" said "B**ch, you're about to die, " and two people began shooting at him. The shooters were not wearing masks, and the defendant later stated he immediately recognized them as "Yogi" and "D-Rich." The victim was not able to verbally identify both men until later at the hospital and was only able to provide their street names. Later, based on police investigation, "Yogi" and "D-Rich" were identified as the co-defendant and defendant respectively.

         At the time of the shooting, the co-defendant was standing "[n]ot too far from where [the victim] parked, " near the stairs of the barbershop. The second shooter, the defendant, was standing behind the barbershop to the left, in front of where the victim parked. The victim was shot a total of fourteen times, sustaining wounds to the chest, abdomen, arm, and leg, and was in the hospital for twenty-one days.

         About a week after the shooting and while still in the hospital, the victim was interviewed by and gave a written statement to Investigator Alberto Colon. In his statement, the victim identified his assailants as "Yogi" and "D-Rich." He also told officers that a person known as "Baldy" was driving the white Honda in which the defendant and co-defendant fled. The victim acknowledged he knew "Baldy" and had a sexual relationship with "Baldy's" girlfriend, Megan, while "Baldy" was in jail. The victim recognized the white Honda as Megan's vehicle. Though marijuana was found on the victim's person by an officer who responded to the scene, the victim stated the marijuana was for personal use only. The victim acknowledged the defendant was his cousin, but he was unaware of this prior to the shooting. The victim was also unaware of any motivation the defendant might have for shooting him and denied there had been any problems between them in the past. The victim also testified he visited the barbershop earlier that day and had seen "Baldy" there.

         Jackson Police Department ("JPD") Officer James Jay Carter responded to a shots fired call on December 10, 2013. Officer Carter was advised by dispatch "that they had seen several subjects getting into a white-colored vehicle and leaving eastbound on . . . Lane Avenue." When Officer Carter arrived, he found the victim lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest. Officer Carter was able to communicate with the victim by getting him to nod and shake his head in response to questions. The victim indicated there were four men in a white Honda and he recognized both shooters. ...

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