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State v. Tweedy

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

July 23, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JOSHUA DEREK TWEEDY

          Assigned on Briefs March 5, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 00284844 Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge

         The Defendant, Joshua Tweedy, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court jury of assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon, a Class B felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-101 (assault) (Supp. 2016) (subsequently amended), 39-17-1307(b)(1)(A) (Supp. 2017) (subsequently amended) (possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon). On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred in imposing an effective eighteen-year sentence. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Jeremy B. Epperson, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Joshua Tweedy.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Jody Pickens, District Attorney General; Rolf Hazelhurst, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         The Defendant's offenses relate to an October 23, 2017 incident involving his then-girlfriend. The couple lived together at the time of the incident, and the offenses occurred at their home.

         At the trial, the victim testified that, at the time of the incident, she and the Defendant had been in an on-and-off relationship for about fifteen years. She said that on the evening of October 23, 2017, she and the Defendant were at home drinking after work. She said that while she was talking by telephone to her sister, the Defendant falsely accused the victim of taking some of his prescription narcotic medication. The victim said that she told her sister what was happening, that the Defendant snatched the phone from her hand, that he "jerked" her to the floor, and that he kicked her head, back, and arm while he wore steel-toed boots. The victim said that, as the Defendant kicked her head, he stated he "ought to kill" her with his boots. The victim said the Defendant held a gun in his hand the entire time they argued. The victim said she was afraid. The victim said that she escaped and ran to a neighbor's house and that the neighbor called the police. Photographs of her injuries were received as an exhibit. The victim identified her injuries as a large bruise and a mark on her arm, several "bruises and stuff" on her back, and unspecified injuries to her forehead.

         The victim testified that the Defendant bought the gun about one month earlier from "Mr. Vincent." She identified a photograph of a gun and identified the gun as the one the Defendant had on the night of the incident. The exhibit depicted a black handgun with a brown handle. The victim acknowledged that she had testified at the preliminary hearing that she had not seen a gun on the night of the incident but stated that she had been having memory problems, which she attributed to dizzy spells that occurred after the Defendant kicked her head. She agreed that she had said at the preliminary hearing that she did not have memory problems.

         The victim testified that "a lot of" police officers responded and that the police tried for about two hours to get the Defendant to come outside. She said she saw blue lights and spotlights. She said the police used a loud speaker to tell the Defendant to come outside. She said, however, that the Defendant did not come outside and that she eventually granted permission for the police to go inside the home.

         The victim denied that she assaulted the Defendant on the date of the incident. She said she did not recall stating at the preliminary hearing that she had not been on the phone before the Defendant assaulted her. She said she had not made any statements to the Defendant's mother or sister about wanting to retrieve a gun from the Defendant's sister's house. She denied that she and the Defendant had gone to the Defendant's sister's house and that she had assaulted the Defendant at his sister's house earlier on the evening of the incident. She denied that she had made any statements about finding the gun or selling it to David Armour. She denied communicating with Mr. Armour about the gun. She agreed that she had stayed outside her home once she went outside and denied going back inside before the police arrived. The victim agreed that she told the police where she had seen the Defendant hide the gun. She stated that, although the Defendant had the gun in his hand while she was inside the home, she knew where he kept it. She acknowledged that she had spoken with the prosecutor since the preliminary hearing and that they had discussed her statements to the police on the night of the incident and her preliminary hearing testimony.

         When shown a gun, the victim testified that it was the Defendant's and stated he kept it under the mattress in their bedroom. She described their bedroom as the "back bedroom."

         Madison County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Hamilton testified that he responded to a domestic disturbance call on the evening of October 23, 2017. He said the caller had stated that she and her boyfriend "got into it," that she went outside and called for help, and that the boyfriend walked around outside with a gun.

         Deputy Hamilton testified that when he arrived at the scene, the victim stated that she last saw the Defendant going inside their home and that the Defendant had a gun. Deputy Hamilton said he called for additional officers because a gun was involved. He said that he could smell alcohol on the victim's breath and that both the victim and the Defendant had been drinking.

         Deputy Hamilton testified that the officers "lit the whole place up like it was Christmas with our patrol cars, with the spotlights" and asked the Defendant over a public address system to come outside. Deputy Hamilton said the officers tried to get the Defendant to come outside for at least two hours but that the Defendant never complied.

         Deputy Hamilton testified that the victim wanted to go inside to sleep and that she gave the police permission to enter the home. He said that the police entered the home and that the Defendant came out of a back bedroom. Deputy Hamilton said that the Defendant was taken into custody and that the Defendant cooperated with the officers. Deputy Hamilton said the police found a gun under a mattress in the bedroom from which the Defendant had emerged. He identified the gun depicted in a previously received photograph exhibit as the gun that had been under the mattress. He identified .38-caliber ammunition that was found next to the gun.

         Deputy Hamilton identified a judgment reflecting the Defendant's previous conviction for felony ...


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