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State v. Standback

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

August 30, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ERIK STANDBACK

          Assigned on Briefs July 9, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 17-02161 James M. Lammey, Judge

         A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Erik Standback, of attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and reckless endangerment. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of eighteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. After review, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

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

          Phyllis Aluko, Shelby County Public Defender, and Tony N. Brayton, Assistant Shelby County Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Erik Standback.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Jamie B. Kidd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts

         This case arises from a physical fight in the Defendant's yard that quickly escalated into a shooting. A Shelby County grand jury indicted the Defendant for attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and reckless endangerment. At trial, the parties presented the following proof: Jasmine Flagg testified that, on January 21, 2017, she went to the Defendant's residence with Chevy Smith, Michael Tellis, Solomon Campbell, David Dancy, Kalon Mull, and Darius Brown. According to Ms. Flagg, the Defendant wanted to fight with Chevy Smith. When they arrived, the Defendant exited his residence through the garage. Initially, Mr. Smith did not want to fight the Defendant but ultimately agreed.

         Ms. Flagg testified that the Defendant ushered the group to the backyard to avoid a disturbance in front of the house. Ms. Flagg video-recorded the fight on her phone and posted the fight "live" on Facebook. At some point, Mr. Smith dislocated the Defendant's shoulder, and the fight stopped. Mr. Smith and the group began walking back to the car while someone helped the Defendant put his shoulder back in place, and then the Defendant ran toward the front of the house and began firing a gun at Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith ran, as did the others, but one of the bullets hit Mr. Smith in the back. Mr. Smith hit the ground, and the Defendant told Ms. Flagg to, "Get your nigga up off my street" before walking back into his house.

         Michael Tellis, the driver of the car, testified that he did not know he was driving to the Defendant's residence that day. He explained that he was driving people to various addresses. The addresses were put into his phone for navigation purposes, and he merely followed the directions without knowing to whose residence he was driving. When he spoke with the police on the day of the incident, however, he acknowledged knowing that he was going to the Defendant's residence although he did not know the Defendant. When they arrived, the Defendant approached the vehicle aggressively, and the group moved to the backyard for a fight. Mr. Tellis did not observe anyone with a gun at this point.

         Mr. Tellis testified that the fight ended quickly, and he began walking back to his car. As he walked through a gate, he saw the Defendant run to the garage and then fire his gun three times. He recalled the Defendant's running past him and said that he felt surprised and fearful. Mr. Tellis stated that everyone who had been in his car on the drive over was in the Defendant's front yard and began running from the gunfire. One of the bullets hit Mr. Smith in the back as he ran from the gunfire. After shooting Mr. Smith, the Defendant said, "I could have killed you but I didn't." Mr. Tellis acknowledged that he had not reported that statement to the police at the time of the incident and that this was his first mention of the Defendant's post-shooting statement.

         Solomon Campbell testified that he had no idea why the group went to the Defendant's house on the day of the shooting. When he asked the others in the car why they were at the Defendant's residence, he was told there was going to be a fight. Mr. Campbell listed the names of the people in the car consistently with Ms. Flagg. At the Defendant's house, Mr. Campbell said that he attempted to dissuade the others from engaging in a fight, but "everybody" began walking to the back of the house. Mr. Campbell recounted the events surrounding the fight consistently with the other witnesses at trial. About the actual shooting, Mr. Campbell stated that the group was walking from the backyard toward the car parked in front of the house to leave when he heard a gunshot and began running. Up until this time, Mr. Campbell had not seen anyone with a gun. In his ...


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