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Greene v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

June 9, 2017

Lorenzo Andrew Greene
State of Alabama

         Appeal from Dale Circuit Court (CC-14-0078)

          JOINER, Judge.

         Lorenzo Andrew Greene appeals his conviction for second-degree assault, see § 13A-6-21, Ala. Code 1975. Greene was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment and was ordered to pay, among other things he had to pay, a $1, 000 fine, court costs, a $100 crime victims' compensation assessment, and restitution.

         Facts and Procedural History

         The victim in this case, Katrina Head, began dating Greene when she was 18 years old and Greene was 25 or 26 years old. After Greene lost his job as a correctional officer, their relationship deteriorated. Eventually, Head moved out of the house she had shared with Greene and moved into a mobile home in Enterprise.

         On Monday, December 16, 2013, Head got off work in Elba at 10:15 p.m. and drove to her house in Enterprise. After she got out of her car, Head was shot in her side and arm as she reached into her car to retrieve her bag. The force of the shot caused Head to fall to the ground. Head then felt a second shot hit her in her back. Head did not see who shot her and did not see a vehicle leave the scene. A neighbor heard Head screaming and telephoned emergency 911 at 10:55 p.m.

         According to Greene's statement to law enforcement, Greene left his house in Enterprise around 10:45 p.m. on the night of the shooting and drove to his grandmother's house in Elba to "mess with [his cars]." (R. 90, 91.) Josh Moultrie, a friend of Greene's, testified that he telephoned Greene and told him that Head had been shot. Moultrie testified that Greene acted like he was "shocked" to hear what had happened to Head. Moultrie further testified that Greene arrived at Moultrie's house in Elba between 11:00 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. Greene then decided to telephone Head's mother to see how Head was doing. According to Moultrie, during this call, Head's mother accused Greene of shooting her daughter, but Greene denied any involvement in the incident. Moultrie also testified that Greene considered going to the hospital to check on Head, but Moultrie advised him that doing so might be dangerous and that Greene should just turn himself in.

         Around that time, Investigator Mason Bynum of the Dale County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene to investigate the shooting. When he arrived, Head was in an ambulance about to be transported to the hospital. As he began his investigation, Investigator Bynum asked Head's mother if she had names of any potential suspects, and she gave him Greene's name. Investigator Bynum further testified that, when he arrived at the scene, he found two shotgun waddings "on the driver's side about five to seven yards away from the door, [in] very close proximity to the door." (R. 117.) He did not find any shells or spent shell casings.

         The morning after the shooting, Greene was questioned by Investigator Bynum at the Ozark Police Department. During this interview, Greene denied any involvement in the shooting. After obtaining Greene's consent, police searched Greene's car for firearms and found none. Investigator Bynum, however, testified that, during the course of his investigation, he learned that Greene owned a brown, double-barreled shotgun.

         After questioning Greene, Investigator Bynum secured a search warrant for Greene's cell phone to see whether he could exclude Greene as a suspect based on the timeline Greene gave him during questioning. Once he received Greene's cell-phone records, Investigator Bynum forwarded them to the Regional Organized Crime Information Center ("ROCIC") in Nashville, Tennessee, to retrieve maps and digital evidence based on the records provided. After receiving this requested information from ROCIC, Investigator Bynum secured a warrant for Greene's arrest for attempted murder.

         Later, after securing another search warrant for Greene's residence, Investigator Bynum conducted a search of Greene's house during which he found two cell phones. He later obtained two more search warrants for extraction of the data from each phone and then contacted Special Agent Jake Frith with the Attorney General's Office to ask him to perform the extraction. At trial, Special Agent Frith testified that he reviewed Greene's telephone records and compared them with a map showing the various towers off which calls from Greene's number "pinged" on the night of the shooting. This data revealed that three phone calls from Greene's number were made that night and that these calls "pinged" off cell towers near the crime scene.

         On June 17, 2014, a Dale County grand jury indicted Greene for the attempted murder of Head, see §§ 13A-4-2 and 13A-6-2, Ala. Code 1975. On July 14, 2014, Greene waived arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty.

         The case was initially set for trial on September 8, 2014, but was continued several times at the request of either the State or Greene for various reasons. On November 10, 2015, Greene requested another continuance because of the unavailability of his expert witness. This request was granted on November 12, 2015, and a trial date was set for February 22, 2016. A week later, Greene filed a speedy-trial motion pursuant to the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which motion the circuit court granted.

         On February 16, 2016, approximately one week before trial, the State submitted to the court its intent to introduce the certificate of records from a custodian of telephone records at Verizon Wireless and attached a copy of the certificate. This certificate of records stated it was specifically for copies of Greene's cellphone records obtained by Investigator Bynum; those records, however, were not attached to the certificate.

         That same day, Greene's appointed defense counsel notified the circuit court that he had learned that Greene's expert witness would not be available for trial because the expert's employer was refusing to permit the expert to testify because of the State's failure to pay for the expert's services in an unrelated case. Greene then asked for an additional continuance to allow the defense time to secure another expert witness. This matter was set for a hearing on February 18, 2016, after which the circuit court denied the defense's request for a continuance. On February 19, 2016, the circuit court appointed Joseph Gallo to represent Greene as cocounsel, and Greene, once again, asked the circuit court for a continuance, this time to allow Gallo more time to prepare for trial. The circuit court denied Greene's request.

         On February 22, 2016, this matter was tried by a jury in the Dale Circuit Court. On February 26, 2016, the jury returned a verdict finding Greene guilty of the lesser-included offense of assault in the second-degree, § 13A-6-21, Ala. Code 1975. Greene filed a motion for a new trial on April 12, ...

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