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State v. Scott

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 27, 2018


          Session May 22, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for McMinn County No. 2014-CR-331 Sandra Donaghy, Judge

         Defendant, Quincy D. Scott, appeals his conviction for aggravated robbery for which he was sentenced to seventeen years as a Range II, multiple offender at 85%. On appeal, Defendant contends that the cumulative effect of various errors at trial entitled him to a new trial. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Ashley L. Ownby, Cleveland, Tennessee, (on appeal) and Donald Leon Shahan, Jr., Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Quincy D. Scott.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Stephen D. Crump, District Attorney General; and Dorothy Cherry and Emily Petro, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams, and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.



         The evidence presented at trial established that on June 28, 2014, Defendant entered a Check Into Cash and informed Felicia Braham, the assistant manager, that he needed a loan. As Ms. Braham was questioning Defendant about the loan, he pulled a piece of a black stretchy material over his face, brandished a gun, and demanded money. Defendant took more than $3, 300 in cash and fled.

         Lisa Raby, the manager, was in the parking lot and saw a man leave the store and place a gun in the back of his pants. A black truck drove into the parking lot, and the man entered on the passenger side. Ms. Raby attempted to follow the truck but lost sight of it in traffic. She was not able to identify the individual with the gun in a photographic line-up.

         Initially, Ms. Braham was unable to identify the perpetrator in a photographic lineup that did not include Defendant. On July 10, 2014, while investigating an accident during which the driver fled the scene, Detective Josh Rhodes initiated a traffic stop of a truck that he described as so dark blue that it appeared to be black. Larry Moore, who was the focus of an ongoing bank robbery investigation, was the driver, and Defendant was a passenger. Detective Rhodes allowed Defendant and Mr. Moore to leave once the detective received information that they were not involved in the accident. While speaking to Defendant, Detective Rhodes realized that Defendant matched the description of a suspect that the detective received in a be-on-the-lookout alert. Detective Rhodes provided Defendant's information to Detective Jim Shaw, who prepared a photographic line-up that included Defendant's photograph. Ms. Braham identified Defendant as the perpetrator in the photographic line-up and at trial.

         After a warrant was issued for Defendant's arrest, Detective Rhodes initiated a traffic stop of the same truck and spoke to Mr. Moore about Defendant's location. Detective Rhodes arrested Defendant later that same day. Detective Rhodes also searched the truck and seized an "air soft type pistol" and magazine, a set of Walkie-Talkies, a black "cinch sack" with rainbow colors on the reverse side, a Joker's mask, and a black nylon "do-rag." The "do-rag" included a DNA mixture of three individuals, and Defendant could not be excluded as a contributor.

         Defendant presented the testimony of Dr. Jeffrey Neuschatz, an expert in cognitive psychology and eyewitness identification, regarding the factors that could have affected a witness's identification of a perpetrator and regarding problems with the photographic line-ups. Defendant also presented the testimony of Officer Michael Richmond, who responded to the scene and followed a black Chevrolet truck that he believed matched the description of the truck involved in the robbery. Officer Richmond's description of the truck differed from the description offered by Ms. Raby at trial. Officer Richmond, however, lost contact with the truck.

         At the conclusion of the proof, the jury convicted Defendant of aggravated robbery. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant to seventeen years as a ...

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