Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session September 24, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Hawkins County No. CC16CR75 Alex
E. Pearson, Judge
Hawkins County jury convicted the Defendant, Billy McCarty
Amyx, of filing a false report and fabricating evidence, and
the trial court imposed an effective sentence of six years in
the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Defendant
appeals, asserting that the evidence does not support his
convictions and that the trial court abused its discretion
when it ordered him to serve six years. After review, we
affirm the trial court's judgments.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
Todd East, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Billy
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Dan E.
Armstrong, District Attorney General; and Ryan Blackwell,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ.,
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE
case arises from unsubstantiated allegations that Jeremy
Weaver shot the Defendant. A Hawkins County grand jury
indicted the Defendant for filing a false report and
fabricating evidence. At the trial on these charges, the
parties presented the following evidence: Former Hawkins
County Sheriff's Department deputy Myran Southerland
testified that on March 18, 2016, he was dispatched at around
3:00 p.m. to a residence on Woodland Lane regarding a
"[shots] fired complaint." Upon arrival, Mr.
Southerland found the Defendant lying against a building with
a gunshot wound to his hand. The Defendant told Mr.
Southerland that John Weaver, his ex-girlfriend's new
boyfriend, had shot him.
County Sheriff's Department Detective Keith Long
testified that he reported to an address on Woodland Lane in
reference to a shooting. Upon arrival, other officers
informed Detective Long that the Defendant was the owner of
the residence and had been shot by John Weaver. Detective
Long collected samples of blood "droplets" found on
the roadway in front of the Defendant's mobile home and
shell casings. The Defendant had already been transported to
Holston Valley Medical Center for treatment when Detective
Long arrived, but the detective spoke with Gregg Mitchell,
who had been present during the shooting.
Long recalled that Mr. Mitchell stated that he had been
helping the Defendant repair his roof. Mr. Mitchell was
inside a shed getting more screws when he heard what sounded
like an argument followed by gunshots. He went outside and
saw a "smaller" black car with a Toyota sticker
"across the top of it." Mr. Mitchell recognized the
driver as John Weaver. Detective Long did not speak to any
other witnesses at the scene but took several photographs,
which he identified for the jury.
Long testified that after photographing the scene,
interviewing Mr. Mitchell, and collecting evidence, he went
to Holston Valley Medical Center to speak with the Defendant.
The Defendant provided a statement to Detective Long, who
wrote down the Defendant's statement for him. He then
read the statement to the Defendant, and the Defendant
confirmed that the statement was accurate before signing it.
Detective Long read the statement to the jury as follows:
Today around 3 p.m., me and my friend, Greg Mitchell, were
working on a shed at my house. Greg had went inside the shed,
and I was coming off the ladder. I saw a dark black or a dark
blue car with Toyota across the top of the windshield. The
car was going toward Church Hill and was going real slow. I
knew the car belonged to John Weaver. He drives through there
a lot but had never stopped. I know John because my
ex-girlfriend, Rebecca, is living with him. John stopped in
the road. His driver's window was down, and he started
telling me he was taking care of my ex and saying things
about me. I started walking toward the road. He said when I
got to jail next month he was going to take care of my
19-month-old daughter like a real man should.
I jumped over my chain link fence and intended to punch him.
I saw his right hand come up . . . and saw a gun. With my
left hand I started reaching toward the gun that was now
pointed at my face. I remember noticing that John had black
gloves on. I grabbed at the gun to keep from getting shot in
the face. The gun went off, and I spun around and hit the
ground. I grabbed the bumper and started around the back of
the car and went toward the passenger side.
I think John was taking his seatbelt off, and then he pointed
the gun at me but the window was up.
I heard my friend, Greg, yelling, and John sped off, almost
running over my foot.
My friend, Greg, was at the fence, and I realized then
I'd been shot. While I was on the ground after the first
shot, I heard at least two more.
Greg pulled the fence down and helped me over, and then he
at the hospital, Detective Long observed the Defendant's
injuries. He recalled that it appeared that the Defendant had
a gunshot wound to his left hand, describing it as a
"through and through shot." Detective Long
identified photographs taken of the Defendant's injuries
at the hospital.
Long testified that he contacted the Johnson City Police
Department and asked that an officer be dispatched to Mr.
Weaver's address to detain him for questioning. When
Detective Long arrived at the residence, Mr. Weaver was
detained in the back of one patrol vehicle and Rebecca
Roberts, the Defendant's ex-girlfriend, was detained in a
separate patrol vehicle. Detective Long spoke with Mr.
Weaver, informing him that he had been accused of shooting
the Defendant. Detective Long stated that Mr. Weaver appeared
confused but was "very cooperative" with the
investigation. Mr. Weaver consented to a search of his
residence and vehicle.
Long testified that, in Mr. Weaver's garage, he found a
dark-colored Scion with a Toyota sticker across the top of
the windshield. As he inspected the vehicle he saw blood in
areas consistent with the Defendant's version of the
events. Detective Long proceeded to the passenger side of the
vehicle and noticed that the car door had been opened
"and two shell casings had fallen from the inside of the
vehicle and were laying [sic] on the ground beside the
car." He clarified that the shell casings were .22
caliber. Detective Long also found "droplets" of
blood on the driver's side of the car, blood on the
passenger side of the vehicle and blood at the top of the
passenger side window. Detective Long found weapons during
the search of the residence but did not find a .22 caliber
Long testified that he had Mr. Weaver and Ms. Roberts
transported to the sheriff's office for further
questioning. Mr. Weaver "adamantly denied" any
involvement in the shooting; however, after interviewing Mr.
Weaver and reviewing "parts" of Mr. Weaver's
cell phone, Detective Long charged Mr. Weaver with attempted
attempt to confirm the Defendant's allegations, Detective
Long obtained video surveillance from Mr. Weaver's place
of employment, Hutchinson Sealing Systems, and information
regarding the time he had clocked out of work on March 18,
2016. The State played a portion of the surveillance video
that showed Mr. Weaver leaving work in his car at 2:41 p.m.
The video footage was consistent with the time indicated on
Mr. Weaver's timecard. Additionally, Detective Long
accessed the Google location service on Mr. Weaver's cell
phone which showed that he was at his place of employment in
Church Hill, Tennessee at 2:41 p.m. Information accessed
through Mr. Weaver's cell phone also indicated that Mr.
Weaver was in Johnson City at Sam's Club from 3:16 p.m.
to 3:38 p.m. on March 18, 2016, "driving" from 3:38
p.m. to 4:08 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:04 p.m. and,
finally, at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Johnson City,
Tennessee, from 5:04 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Long testified that he confirmed the location information
recovered from Mr. Weaver's cell phone by obtaining
surveillance video from the Sam's Club that showed Mr.
Weaver in the Sam's Club at 3:16 p.m. and a receipt
time-stamped 3:27 p.m. The shooting had been reported at 3:00
p.m., and the distance between the Sam's Club and the
location of the shooting was thirty-one miles. Detective Long
drove the distance between the two locations in thirty-nine
minutes. He reported driving the speed limit for most of the
drive, stating that he drove "with the flow of the
Long testified that he also accessed Mr. Weaver's call
history. The call history showed that a call was placed on
Mr. Weaver's cell phone at 2:45 p.m. on March 18, 2016.
The call duration was nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds.
There were two missed incoming phone calls from Gary Henard
at 2:51 and ...