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State v. Williams

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

August 8, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
BRIAN WILLIAMS

          Session June 18, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. F-77685-B Royce Taylor, Judge

         The Defendant, Brian Williams, was indicted for aggravated burglary, a Class C felony; and theft of property valued at $1000 or less, a Class A misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-14-103, -105, -403. The Defendant pled guilty to the theft charge and was convicted by a jury of the aggravated burglary charge. The trial court later imposed a total effective sentence of four years. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction for aggravated burglary. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Wesley Clark, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brian Williams.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ronald L. Coleman, Assistant Attorney General; Jennings Hutson Jones, District Attorney General; and Clyde Eric Farmer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The victim, Sharon Spradling, testified that in March 2017, she rented a portion of a duplex. Early that month, the victim was introduced to the Defendant by her neighbors, Alyssa Hill and Shelley.[1] The Defendant was Ms. Hill's boyfriend and homeless when he met the victim. The victim was asked to let the Defendant "stay with [her] for a couple of weeks" in her spare bedroom. The victim testified that she agreed to let the Defendant stay in her home because she had "a very hard time telling people no."

         The victim estimated that the Defendant stayed at her home for "two to three weeks." The victim never gave the Defendant a key to her home. The victim admitted that she had asked the Defendant "for help," either by giving her money or doing "something of value." However, the victim testified that this "wasn't mandatory." The victim testified that the Defendant never paid her rent. The victim admitted that the Defendant's father had given her sixty dollars for rent, but that the Defendant "asked to borrow that money" and took it from the victim as soon as his father left.

         The victim testified that the Defendant had been gone from her home a few days when she sent him a text message telling the Defendant that she was "tired of him leeching off of [her]" and that she did not "want him to come back." The victim estimated that this was two or three days before the burglary. The victim never saw the Defendant at her home after she sent the text message.

         The victim testified that on March 26, 2017, she had an anxiety attack and "felt like [she] was having a heart attack." The victim asked Ms. Hill and Shelley to take her to the Veterans Affairs hospital. In her rush, the victim forgot to lock her front door. The victim was in the hospital for three days. When she got back from the hospital, the victim discovered that a gun, a laptop computer, a tablet, her checkbook, and her Suboxone, which had been prescribed to her to treat opioid addiction, had been taken from her home. The victim testified that she never gave the Defendant or Ms. Hill permission to enter her home while she was in the hospital.

         One of the victim's neighbors, Rachel Forbes, recalled seeing a man who she thought was the Defendant looking into the windows of the victim's home ...


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