A woman who was involved in a faceoff with another woman that was live-streamed on Facebook was sentenced on Tuesday to four years in state prison for aggravated assault.
Kuchava Moore appeared before Criminal Court Judge Amanda Dunn in the January 2020 case.
Sylla stated in court that the two had agreed to meet in the neighborhood near Memorial Hospital for "a fistfight, yes. A shootout, no." She added. "I have a problem with you. I want my one, and 'come on' to the field," Ms. Sylla said, quoting herself from the video.
"Ms. Moore, you brought a gun to a fistfight," said Judge Amanda Dunn. "You were also in a car while Ms. Sylla was standing in the road."
Ms. Moore had pleaded guilty in a plea in which an attempted murder charge was dismissed. She will be eligible for parole consideration after she has served 30 percent of her sentence.
Judge Dunn said she considered that Ms. Moore, 31, has a history of criminal convictions and behavior, though without felonies, and her last conviction was eight years ago. Ms. Moore's juvenile record from age 12 also was significant, she said, and Ms. Moore's history of probation violation and failure to appear in court shows that alternative sentencing would not be productive. Use of a deadly weapon and that Ms. Moore had endangered bystanders in the altercation also enhanced her sentence.
Judge Dunn said that Ms. Moore's constant pain from lifelong sickle cell anemia, proven by recent visits to Tennessee Oncology, as well as the support for Ms. Moore in the courtroom Tuesday, kept her from choosing the maximum sentence of six years.
Defense attorney Garth Best argued that Ms. Moore had been antagonized and threatened by Ms. Sylla for weeks before the shooting. He presented a police report from December 2019 in which Ms. Sylla had followed Ms. Moore in her car while Ms. Moore was on foot. The reports stated that Ms. Sylla had a gun in her car at the time, with a license to carry. In the livestream video, attorney Best said, Ms. Sylla is shown approaching Ms. Moore's car, inviting Ms. Moore to fight, with neighbors gathering to watch. After she is shot, he said, she appears to be proud and smiling on camera. He argued that Ms. Moore had no way of knowing Ms. Sylla was not carrying a gun at that time.
State prosecutor Leslie Longshore argued that Ms. Moore had shot an unarmed victim in broad daylight, and then escaped by car. Evidence was presented by patrol supervisor Sgt. Jeremiah Cook, probation officer Kristina Creekmore and Ms. Sylla herself. Ms. Longshore said Ms. Sylla works double shifts as a caregiver, seven days a week, and had come to the fight to "get it over with," in Ms. Sylla's words, without weapons.
"This whole situation portrays her as someone that she's not," said Ms. Longshore.
Ms. Sylla said she hears, " 'Oh, that girl that took that bullet like a champ,' not 'Oh, you're that girl that's making a difference in your community.' "
"I'm just ready to move forward and leave this chapter behind," she said.