It’s been almost five years since the news of a sexual assault on the Vanderbilt campus rocked Nashville. Four football players were identified as suspects and charged. Three were convicted, and last week, the final suspect, Jaborian ‘Tip’ Mackenzie admitted his guilt and entered a plea agreement. Deputy DA Roger Moore and ADA Jan Norman stressed to the media how courageous and brave the victim in this case has been. Here are links to the local media covering the plea agreement on May 21st.
Defendant Shandejah Stone was found guilty of assault last week after a Facebook feud amongst former best friends led to one attacking the other in a local daycare parking lot. The victim was slung to the ground, beaten and kicked in the face. The facts show that the defendant continued to brag about her beating on facebook after being arrested. Assistant District Attorney Vince Wyatt spelled it all out for the jury in Criminal Court Division VI, but says this case would not have been a success if not for everyone’s involvement! ADA Wyatt credits Victim Witness Coordinator Brittany LaDuke for fantastic witness coordinating, investigator Steve Turner for tracking down an uncooperative eyewitness, and summer intern Luis Casas for legal research and tracking down an additional facebook video of the incident posted by the defendant. Total team effort!
Aggravated robbery suspect Precious Horton was found guilty last week of two counts of aggravated robbery in what is being described as one of the quickest verdicts EVER in Davidson County! Credit for the swift justice goes to Assistant District Attorney and Criminal Court Division III Team Leader Megan King, along with Assistant District Attorney Byron Pugh, investigator David Zoccola, and Victim Witness Coordinator Caroline Brown. Quick Facts: This is the so-called ’15 minute verdict’ case! That’s the time it took for a jury to find the defendant, Precious Horton guilty on two counts of aggravated robbery. Megan King and Byron Pugh presented a rock solid case, explaining how Horton approached the two victims at the Target in the Rivergate area three years ago, crying that her boyfriend had left her and she simply needed a ride. Once in the car however, Horton pulled a gun, robbed the two good Samaritans, and then drove off with their car. She was arrested days later with the victim’s car being dismantled. Praise to Detective David Zoccola for helping track down the people involved, and also Victim Witness Coordinator Caroline Brown, who helped calmed the nerves of a witness that was very upset after testifying.
Defendant Karlus Branch was found guilty last week of second degree murder (Range 2) and two counts of reckless endangerment. In her very first case of being the lead prosecutor in a murder trial, Assistant District Attorney Addie Askew was convincing in her facts and arguments. She also credits Assistant District Attorney Joey Clifton, Victim Witness Coordinator Megan Chalk, Investigator Randy Martin, and Detective Jessie Holt from the Metro Police department. Quick Facts: 22-year-old Karlus Branch was in the James Cayce homes in May 2016 when he claims he was confronted by Ronnie Foxx, who was there visiting his girlfriend. Branch claimed he asked Foxx about an alleged assault when he felt ‘threatened’ and started firing his gun that he ‘always had loaded’ in his pocket. He testified that he thought Foxx also had a gun, but when testifying, ADA Askew kept asking Branch why every witness testified that there was NO gun on the victim and no weapon was found beside his body. The jury agreed with the state on Askew’s very first FIRST CHAIR murder case that she’s taken from indictment to verdict. The state presented the case in a courtroom packed with emotional family members, which Megan Chalk handled with care and compassion. Praise also goes to Investigator Randy Martin and Detective Jessie Holt for getting witnesses to come forward and help bring justice to the family of Ronnie Foxx.
Criminal Court Division I with Judge Steve Dozier saw DEFENDANT Charvaris Newsom found guilty last week of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery.
Assistant District Attorney Chandler Harris … Team Leader Wesley King … VWC Cathy Harrison … Investigator Randy Martin … and Supervisor Dona Murphy all worked long hours to bring justice to the victim’s family.
Quick facts: The victim, Ian Patterson came to James Cayce homes in October 2015 to buy a gun from an acquaintance, Quantarius Newsom. Upon arrival, Quantarius and the defendant, Charvaris Newsom robbed Patterson in his car. As he got out of the back seat, Charvaris shot him … leaving an important fingerprint on the car. Another robbery and shooting days later linked Charvaris’ prints and casings to the Patterson murder. Adding to that, Quantarius testified against his cousin. Information also came in from the cousins during their time behind bars about a ‘get out of jail for the murder’ plan. ADA Harris worked LONG HOURS at the office last weekend putting all the pieces of this complicated puzzle together, but gives total credit to the team: “This result was the epitome of a team effort and absolutely could not have occurred without the help of Wesley King, Randy Martin, Cathy Harrison, and the fantastic work of the MNPD – particularly Det. Adam Weeks.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2017 (Nashville, TN)—A Davidson County jury has found a Nashville man guilty of Premeditated First Degree Murder in the 2016 shooting death of a local teenager. Vana Mustafa, 19, was convicted of killing 18-year-old Aiad Malo after shooting him multiple times when the two encountered each other in the former Kmart store parking lot on Nolensville Pike.
The defendant and the victim grew up together but had a falling out. The testimony at trial indicated the falling out was also Mustafa’s motive for the homicide. “
Aiad’s death was heartbreaking for his large, close-knit family,” Assistant DA Jan Norman said. “Aiad and his twin-brother were the youngest of nine children. This verdict has helped give the Malo family some semblance of peace.”
Vana Mustafa was 17-years-old at the time of the murder. His case was transferred from juvenile court to Davidson County Criminal Court for trial. Vana Mustafa received a life sentence.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 4, 2017
(Nashville, TN)—The two men charged in a 2015 home invasion in Crieve Hall will spend the next 15 years in prison. Robert Corder and Oscar Burnett-Patton pled guilty Friday to Especially Aggravated Kidnapping for holding a Nashville family at gunpoint inside their Trousdale Drive home. Corder and Burnett-Patton admitted robbing the family after forcing them to drive to several ATMs to withdraw money.
Assistant District Attorney Paul DeWitt said the pair entered the family’s home as the homeowner returned from grocery shopping. They forced the woman, along with her daughter, granddaughter, and her granddaughter’s boyfriend to drive to several banks to withdraw money. Police tracked down the suspects because the daughter was able to memorize the suspect’s license tag number, even as she was held at gunpoint.
“We appreciate the victim’s courage, determination and patience throughout this process,” ADA DeWitt said. “We hope this guilty plea gives the family the justice they deserved.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 20, 2017
(Nashville, TN)-A Nashville man convicted of sexually abusing a young girl will spend the rest of his life in prison. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins today sentenced Luis Alvarez-Avila to 90-years in prison following his conviction on sexual battery charges. Alvarez-Avila, 63, was sentenced to 10 years for each of the nine counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery of a Victim Under 13.
Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade said the abuse began when the female victim was just five-years-old and continued until she was 10. “What he did changed this little girl’s life forever but not once did he apologize,” Meade said. “Alvarez-Avila wanted sympathy for himself but fortunately, the court saw otherwise.”
Alvarez-Avila was a relative of the victim. He pled guilty to the charges in October in order to avoid going to trial. He was ordered to serve his sentence in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 5, 2017
(Nashville, TN)- A Nashville man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal murder of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn sentenced Donald Lee Harris, 35, to life plus 75 years in prison on Wednesday. Harris was found guilty in June of murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. The three-year-old victim had been severely beaten with belts, treated with exceptional cruelty, and was especially vulnerable due to his physical and mental disabilities.
Assistant DA Pam Anderson said even while the child was dying, he was not taken to the hospital. She called Harris a dangerous offender who had no regard for human life. “This was not a one-time isolated event, this was ongoing, sustained torture. There is no more dangerous offender than one that would cause harm to a child, Anderson said.”
The boy’s mother, Shantonio Hunter, pled guilty in September to second degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 18, 2017
(Nashville, TN)- A Davidson County jury returned guilty verdicts Thursday afternoon against a man charged in a deadly 2014 home invasion in Antioch. After four days of testimony and less than an hour of deliberations, jurors convicted Javon Jolarry Spivey, 28, on the following six felony counts:
First Degree Premeditated Murder
First Degree Felony Murder
Attempted First Degree Premeditated Murder
Especially Aggravated Burglary
Employing a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony
Spivey shot and killed Charles Peterson IV after breaking into the home Peterson shared with his mother, Anne. Mrs. Peterson was also shot by Spivey as she ran to a neighbor’s house for help. Assistant District Attorney Byron Pugh described the case as a nightmarish series of crimes committed by a man who had no regard for human life.
Mrs. Peterson took the stand during the trial and told jurors how Spivey chased her down as she ran for her life, stomped on her back when she fell to the ground, and shot her multiple times. “Mrs. Peterson remained undeterred in her quest for justice for herself and her son. The jury’s decision to find this defendant guilty of these horrific crimes will allow Mrs. Peterson to begin the process of healing,” said ADA Pugh.
Jurors also found Spivey guilty of robbing a man at a Murfreesboro Road ATM one hour after fleeing the Peterson home. He will be sentenced by Judge Cheryl Blackburn on November 1.