Assigned on Briefs June 5, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 15-01597 Lee V.
Deddrick Clay, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury
for especially aggravated robbery and for being a convicted
felon in possession of a firearm. Following a jury trial,
Defendant was convicted of especially aggravated robbery and
found not guilty of the firearm possession charge. Following
a sentencing hearing, Defendant was sentenced to serve 22
years incarcerated. Defendant's sole issue on appeal is
whether the evidence was sufficient to support his
conviction. Having reviewed the entire record and the briefs
of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
M. Matthews, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal) and Stephen C.
Bush, District Public Defender; and Jennifer Johnson
Mitchell, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee (at
trial) for the appellant, Deddrick Clay.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth
Anne Thompson, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District
Attorney General; and Kevin McAlpin and Leslie Byrd,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State
T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Alan E. Glenn and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
T. WOODALL, JUDGE
presented at trial
October 31, 2014, Joshua Hearn was working as an assistant
manager at the Family Dollar store on Park Avenue in Memphis.
He testified that Defendant, who had been waiting in the
checkout line, approached the counter with a box of laundry
detergent and demanded that Mr. Hearn give him money from the
store's safe. Mr. Hearn testified that he "thought
it was a joke at first," but he noticed that Defendant
was sweating, and he realized Defendant was serious. Mr.
Hearn noticed that Defendant's hand was in his pocket,
which made him believe that Defendant was armed. Instead of
entering the code to open the safe, Mr. Hearn entered the
code to call police. He testified that Defendant became
impatient and "came around the corner [and] hit [him]
with . . . something in his hand." Mr. Hearn was able to
get out of the store. From outside the store, Mr. Hearn saw
Defendant "slam[ ] the cash register and [take] all of
the money out."
Hearn did not know exactly what the object was that Defendant
hit him with. He testified that "[i]t looked like the
bottom of a gun, like the handle part." He testified
that Defendant hit him more than once. He testified that part
of his face was "shattered" and that he "had
to wait a couple of months [to] let it heal on its own."
He testified that the injury was "most definitely
painful" and that he wore a patch over his eye for one
month. At the time of trial, almost four years after the
incident, Mr. Hearn still could not fully open the eye as
much as it opened prior to the assault. Mr. Hearn testified
that Defendant "didn't just str[i]ke [him] with
[his] hand. He had something in his hand." Mr. Hearn
estimated that Defendant took around $200 from two registers.
Vester was also working at the store. Ms. Vester was unaware
that anything was happening until another employee, Nicole
Taylor, squatted down beside her. Ms. Vester saw Defendant
hit Mr. Hearn "more than once." Ms. Vester
estimated that there was $150 in her register. Ms. Taylor
testified that she heard Defendant tell Mr. Hearn that he was
going to rob the store, and she called the police. Ms. Taylor
also saw Defendant hit Mr. Hearn. On cross-examination, Ms.
Taylor acknowledged that she did not see a weapon.
Rufus Potts, of the Memphis Police Department, responded to a
robbery call at the store. Officer Potts obtained security
video of the incident. The video was admitted as an exhibit
and shown to the jury. Officer Sam Blue, of the Memphis
Police Department's Crime Scene Investigation Unit, took
photographs and collected evidence from the crime scene. He
lifted fingerprints from the box of laundry detergent. Nathan