BY KEN LITTLE
An appeal by a man convicted of attempted second-degree murder in connection with a December 2009 shooting at the Houston Valley Club was denied this week by a state appellate court.
In a ruling published Wednesday, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court in the case of Robert Blake Ball.
The former Kingsport Highway resident is serving an 11-year state prison term after a Greene County Criminal Court jury found him guilty in May of the attempted murder charge.
In the appeal, Ball "challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court," authoring Judge Camille R. McMullen wrote in the ruling.
Ball, 27, was found guilty May 20 of shooting Michael C. Davis on Dec. 13, 2009, in the Houston Valley Club.
He was sentenced by Judge John Dugger Jr. to the 11-year prison term, with credit for time served and the possibility of parole after serving 30 percent of his sentence. Ball was fined $25,000, plus court costs.
SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE
In challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, Ball contended that the state failed to prove he "knowingly" shot Davis.
"Although he concedes that he shot the victim, he claims, as he did at trial, that it was an accident and that he did not possess the requisite (criminal intent) to support a conviction of attempted second-degree murder," the opinion states.
"In response, the state contends that the jury rejected Ball's defense theory, and therefore, the proof was sufficient to support his conviction. We agree with the state."
Ball also maintained in his appeal that the trial court erred in sentencing him to 11 years for attempted second-degree murder.
"Ball relies entirely upon his claim that the shooting was accidental," the opinion states.
"There was more than sufficient proof at trial showing that the shooting was not an accident, therefore, the trial court properly denied application of mitigating factors."
FACTS OF SHOOTING
Davis was shot inside the Houston Valley Club, located on Bolton Road, according to court documents.
Early on the morning of the shooting, the club manager said he heard a "pop" and saw that a security employee had another man "pinned down" on the floor near the bar, according to a Greene County Sheriff's Department report.
Ball was quickly identified as the shooter.
The bar manager said he then noticed Davis, who was 25 at the time, lying on the floor.
Davis was shot in the abdomen. He was taken by helicopter ambulance to Johnson City Medical Center. His wounds were not fatal.
Ball was initially charged with criminal intent to commit first-degree murder.
According to a deputy's report, the bar manager said that Ball and Davis had not been heard arguing before the shooting took place.
Ball is currently in the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City.