Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs March 20, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2015-B-1336
Mark J. Fishburn, Judge
Davidson County grand jury indicted the defendant, Demetrius
Bailey, with one count of aggravated burglary, one count of
employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous
felony, two counts of aggravated robbery, and one count of
aggravated assault. Following trial, a jury found the
defendant guilty of all counts, and the trial court imposed
an effective sentence of eighteen years. On appeal, the
defendant challenges the trial court's evidentiary
rulings allowing the admission of a Kal-Tec .380 pistol.
After reviewing the record and considering the applicable
law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
Powers, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Demetrius
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Garrett D. Ward, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk,
District Attorney General; and Vince Wyatt, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Norma McGee Ogle and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.
ROSS DYER, JUDGE
and Procedural History
approximately 2:00 a.m. on October 1, 2014, Officer Steven
Smith pulled over a silver 2007 Kia Sorento due to a broken
taillight on the driver's side. The occupants of the
vehicle were searched, and three of the occupants, Ebony
Hayes, Donald Edmonds, and Roxanna Marhami, were taken into
custody. The defendant, however, was not taken into custody
during the traffic stop and was left in possession of the
vehicle. While Officer Smith was completing his arrest
paperwork, he allowed the defendant and Ms. Hayes to
communicate through the window of the squad car. During this
conversation, the defendant and Ms. Hayes referred to each
other as boyfriend and girlfriend, and Ms. Hayes told the
defendant to "get [her] out."
afternoon, the defendant picked up Arianna
Arrendo-Brown and Jillian Harris in the silver SUV. The
defendant wanted to get Ms. Hayes out of jail but needed
cash. Ms. Hayes called the defendant from jail and told him
to "pick some money up from her boss man," Mr.
Nidal "Ali" Naser. Mr. Naser rented kitchen space
inside Jerry's Market, a convenience store, and Ms. Hayes
had recently worked with him prior to being fired. The
defendant knew Mr. Naser was paid in cash each night and
formulated a plan to rob him at his house. Ms. Arrendo-Brown
and Ms. Harris's role was to "keep Ali
talking." They picked up a friend of the defendant to
assist with the robbery and drove to Jerry's Market.
There, the defendant spoke with an employee who was sweeping
the parking lot and asked "where Ali was."
leaving Jerry's Market, they drove to Mr. Naser's
house and parked "a small distance away." Mr.
Naser, who lived in a boarding house with several other
people, was sitting on his back porch with one of his
roommates, Ali "Marco" Nowalish. Ms. Arrendo-Brown
and Ms. Harris walked to the back of the house and asked Mr.
Naser and Mr. Nowalish "where Ali was." The women
said Ali had given them his phone number. When Mr. Naser
denied knowing the two women, they told him they were
"friends with Ebony." Suddenly, the defendant and
the other man came around the corner with handkerchiefs
covering the lower half of their faces. The defendant was
holding a gun and demanded money, forcing Mr. Naser and Mr.
Nowalish inside the house.
inside, the defendant began kicking down doors in an attempt
to find money. Anastacio Primevo was sleeping in his room
when he heard noises on the other side of the door. The
defendant kicked the bedroom door in and began demanding
money. After telling the defendant that he did not have any
money, Mr. Primevo ran out of the house. Catrino Luis Lopez
was in the bathroom at the time and heard someone screaming
inside the house. Someone began hitting the door, telling Mr.
Lopez to get out of the bathroom. However, when Mr. Lopez
finally opened the door, the person had left.
Luis Lazo, the owner of the house, was sitting in his room
when he heard someone screaming in the kitchen. He opened the
bedroom door and saw the defendant holding a gun to Mr.
Naser's head. The defendant asked Mr. Naser where the
owner of the house was and began walking toward Mr.
Lazo's room. Mr. Lazo closed the door, and the defendant
"started knocking on the door very hard." When Mr.
Lazo realized the defendant was going to knock the door down,
he ran out of the house through the front door, which was
located inside Mr. Lazo's bedroom. There were several men
standing across the street, and Mr. Lazo asked them to call
911. As Mr. Lazo stood across the street, he saw the
defendant enter his bedroom and look outside.
defendant, Ms. Arrendo-Brown, Ms. Harris, and the other man
fled the house through the back door and drove away in the
silver SUV. After leaving the house, they discovered they had
only stolen ten dollars, four cigarettes, and a cell phone.
The defendant told Ms. Harris to wipe the cell phone off with
her shirt and throw it out the window.
Matthew Filter with the Metro Nashville Police Department
responded to the scene and interviewed Mr. Naser. During the
interview, Mr. Naser described the suspects as two overweight
black females and two black males "in their early
twenties and one was described as being taller than the
other." The taller suspect was holding a
"small," "dark" gun. Due to the cash-only
nature of his business, Mr. Naser believed he was targeted by
someone who knew him. As he was investigating the area where
the suspects' car was parked, Detective Filter observed a
beer bottle on the side of the road and requested the bottle
be checked for ...