STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID RICHARDSON - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 20, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Neil Umsted (on appeal) and William D. Massey and Lorna S. McClusky (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, David Richardson.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Teresa S. McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, David Richardson, was convicted as charged by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury in case number 11-07432 of first degree premeditated murder and in case number 11-02623 of twelve counts of attempted first degree murder (counts 1-12), twelve counts of aggravated assault (counts 14-25), one count of employment of a firearm during the attempt to commit a dangerous felony (count 27), and one count of reckless endangerment committed with a deadly weapon (count 30). The trial court sentenced Richardson to life imprisonment for the first degree murder conviction. It also sentenced Richardson to eighteen years at thirty percent release eligibility for each of the attempted first degree murder convictions, five years at thirty percent release eligibility for each of the aggravated assault convictions, six years at one hundred percent release eligibility for the employment of a firearm during the attempt to commit a dangerous felony conviction, and two years at thirty percent release eligibility for the felony reckless endangerment conviction. The court ordered the sentences for the attempted first degree murder convictions served consecutively to one another, consecutively to the sentence of life imprisonment, and consecutively to the sentences in counts 27 and 30 but concurrently with the sentences in counts 14 through 25, for an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus 224 years. On appeal, Richardson argues: (1) the trial court’s response to two questions from a juror during trial invaded the province of the jury and improperly commented on the evidence; (2) the trial court committed plain error by informing the jury venire that the State was not seeking the death penalty or a sentence of life imprisonment without parole; (3) the trial court committed plain error in instructing the jury that the testimony of one witness is sufficient to support a conviction; (4) the evidence is insufficient to sustain the first degree premeditated murder conviction, the attempted first degree murder convictions, and the aggravated assault convictions in counts 16, 17, 18 and 20 through 25; and (5) the trial court abused its discretion in imposing partially consecutive sentences resulting in a sentence of life imprisonment plus 224 years. Upon review, we affirm Richardson’s convictions but remand the cause to the trial court for a new sentencing hearing. This hearing is limited to consideration of the factors outlined in State v. Wilkerson, 905 S.W.2d 933 (Tenn. 1995), to determine the propriety of consecutive sentencing in this case.

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