Mistrial Declared In Greer Murder Case After Comments By Co-Defendant Who Turned State Witness

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - by Hollie Webb

A mistrial was declared Tuesday afternoon in the Dominique Greer felony murder trial after his co-defendant made several unsolicited comments before the jury.

Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern halted the trial not long after it had begun when Franklin Wood Jr. made several comments pertaining to Greer’s reputation that were not answers to any questions asked, including claiming twice that Greer sold marijuana. 

The defense objected both times, as this was not a charge with any evidence, and Wood was warned by the judge. A few minutes later, Wood made the allegation that Greer “had a reputation for home invasions.”

After this, Judge Stern decided that Greer could no longer be given a fair trial and the jury was dismissed.

A new trial date has not been set. 

Both Greer and Wood were 17 at the time of the July 21, 2010, slaying of 21-year-old Darrian Moore on Shady Hollow Lane in Harrison. Wood reached an agreement to testify for the state.

Angela Moore, the victim's mother, said she knew that something was wrong when she answered a phone call from her son and the only words he said were “Mama…Mama…” She had no idea that these would be the last words she would ever hear him say. 

She rushed downstairs to tell her husband Charles, and, soon after, they discovered their son in their driveway in the passenger seat of his own car, slouched over with a gunshot wound to the head. He was still alive. However, in spite of Mr. Moore rushing his youngest son to the emergency room, Darrian Moore died at Erlanger Hospital.

Angela Moore, the first witness, told the jury that her son was a student at Chattanooga State Community College and that he was working at FedEx at the time of his death. She said of his phone call, "I tried to call back and he never answered.” She continued to call. When she learned that Darrian’s car was in the driveway, “I just kept saying ‘Something’s wrong, something’s wrong.’”

Charles Moore, a TVA employee, took the stand next. On July 21 of 2010, the day of the murder, Mr. Moore was in the sun room of their home. He heard his son pull into the driveway. He said that Darrian usually stayed in his car to talk on the phone, so Mr. Moore was not worried when Darrian did not come in the house right away. A few minutes later, the father heard a “pop” sound, but he thought his son had just thrown something in the dumpster. He said he was not concerned until his wife ran downstairs to find him.

When asked about Wood, the witness replied “Darrian thought they were friends.” However, he also told the jury that Darrian and Wood had had a “falling out” followed by a physical altercation shortly before the week of the murder. Charles Moore said he had never met Dominique Greer.

Wood, known as “J” to his friends, described his “falling out” with Darrian Moore, saying it started when they were driving together and were pulled over by a police officer. He said the officer sent them both home when he found marijuana residue. Wood said “I felt like (Darrian) was putting all the blame in the incident on me.”

Wood claimed he was not a part of any plan to rob Darrian Moore and that it was more of a conversation than a plan. He said “It was a conversation between (Dwight Turner) and Dominique.” He claimed that they wanted the guns owned by Darrian’s father.

Defense attorney Dan Ripper in an opening statement had told the jury that the state has no direct proof that Greer was the gunman who fatally shot the victim at his home near Chickamauga Lake.

But prosecutor Kristen Spires said Greer planned the robbery along with two other youths, who will testify against him. She said one was Wood.

Prosecutor Spires said the robbery had been planned several days before by Greer, Wood and another youth. She said Darrian Moore was chosen because he had a job and money in a bank account. "He was the perfect victim," she said.

She said Wood lives behind the Moore home. She said the state would present proof about Greer heading to the Moore house and about talk of disposing of the weapon.

Attorney Ripper said the victim was in the passenger side of his vehicle when his father found him. He said fingerprints were lifted from the driver's side window. He said they did not match either the victim or Greer.

He said the state has no fingerprint or DNA proof against his client.

The state was also set to present proof that Greer carried out another robbery the same day as the Moore slaying. Judge Stern ruled earlier that evidence would be allowed.  

After their arrest, it was decided after a lengthy hearing that Greer and Wood would be tried as adults.



Man Shot In Knee On W. 38th Street; Won't Cooperate With Police

A man was shot in the knee on West 38th Street on Monday afternoon. Police said he would not cooperate with the investigation. At approximately 4:59 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 262 West 38 th for a person shot.  Officers located a 22-year-old black male suffering from a single gunshot wound to his knee.  The victim was transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

2 Brothers Arrested For Armed Robbery At Dollar Store

Two brothers have been arrested for the armed robbery of the Dollar Store on 23rd Street that took place on July 3.  According to police, Dominique and Trevor Casteel came into the store with pistols, demanding money. The two cashiers working handed them the tills from the cash register, and then they said the men put the money in a drawstring bag and fled.  Bandanas ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)

Prep Football Practice Starts Today

Coaches barking instructions, players blocking and tackling, quarterbacks and receivers working on timing routes and error-free handoffs to fleet-footed running backs.   In the greater Chattanooga area and throughout the state it can mean just one thing. It’s time for Prep Football 2014.   Today is the first official day ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)