What was seen at the Notorious Grill?

Dewberry v. State (Unpublished Memo): In a case of aggravated assault via shooting, the issue was whether Dewberry was the triggerman.  A sprawling multiparty altercation started at a gas station, adjourned, and reconvened at the Notorious Grill (a quorum was present).  Then, in an astonishing breach of Robert’s Rules of Order, someone got shot.

Browning was the victim.  He and a man named Pullins had initially called the meeting to order at the gas station.  At trial, both Browning and Pullins identified Dewberry as the shooter.  Dewberry says that evidence is insufficient to convict him.  Dewberry points out that, at the scene, the victim wasn’t sure who shot him, and indeed, thought it was Pullins.  What’s more, Dewberry’s associate, Pullins only named Dewberry as the shooter after he, Pullins, became the focus of the investigation.

Justice Bass, as he is wont to do, addressed these points with the eloquence of the obvious:

[Browning’s] initial confusion is understandable. Browning lay wounded in a dimly lit parking lot with his attention focused on the end of the gun barrel pointed at him. He had never seen [Dewberry] before and he naturally suspected Pullins, the man with whom he had quarreled twenty minutes earlier. The initial reluctance of [Dewberry’s] companions to name him as the shooter needs no explanation.

The eyewitness testimony, though it had changed between the scene and the trial, was sufficient to support a conviction.  The only relief Dewberry gets is that his $10,000 fine was vacated by agreement because it went beyond what was authorized by the relevant section of the Penal Code.

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