Appeal from Lee Circuit Court. CC-94-137. Robert Harper, TRIAL JUDGE.
Rule 39(k) Motion Denied November 10, 1994. Rehearing Denied November 10, 1994. Certiorari Denied January 6, 1995. Released for Publication April 1, 1995.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bowen
The appellant, Willie Albert Buchannon, was convicted of robbery in the first degree and was sentenced as a habitual offender to life imprisonment. He raises two issues on appeal.
The appellant claims that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction for first degree robbery because, he says, the State failed to prove that he "threatened the imminent use of force . . . with intent to compel acquiescence to the taking of or escaping with the property." Ala. Code 1975, § 13A-8-43(a)(2).
Wal-Mart discount store security officer Albert Dorn testified that he saw the appellant remove two cartons of cigarettes from a shelf, place them in a styrofoam cooler, and leave the store without paying for any merchandise. Dorn followed the appellant into the parking lot of the Wal-Mart store and asked him to stop, but the appellant, holding the cooler, ran across the street. According to Dorn, "the cooler started busting . . . and the merchandise started to fall out onto the pavement." R. 45. When Dorn stopped to pick up the merchandise, Kevin Smith, another Wal-Mart employee, joined in the chase of the appellant. Dorn and Smith pursued the appellant across several streets and the parking lots of shopping centers, occasionally losing and then regaining sight of him, to "the back of a housing area", where the appellant "pulled out a straight edge razor" and "told [Dorn] to get back." R. 47-48.
Opelika police officers eventually apprehended the appellant, who was lying in some bushes in a nearby wooded area. There were several items of merchandise bearing Wal-Mart price tags on the ground near him.
Section 13A-8-41, Ala. Code 1975, which defines robbery in the first degree, provides, in pertinent part:
"(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the first degree if he violates Section 13A-8-43 and he:
"(1) Is armed with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument."
Section 13A-8-43, which must be violated in order to constitute robbery in the first degree, provides:
"(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the third degree if in the course of ...