Supreme Court Affirms Robbery, Reverses Burglary Conviction After Victim “Candy Man” Invited Men Inside

January 2, 2014

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Monday, December 30 that Marcus Pope, who committed a robbery after being invited inside the Memphis residence of Carl Brown, could not also be convicted of a burglary.

In August of 2010, Brown, known as the “Candy Man,” sold snacks and soft drinks through a window of his residence. He recognized Pope as a regular customer and, because of the hot weather, invited him and an unidentified companion inside.

The two men then attacked Brown and stole money that was in his pocket, as well as other items in the residence. Because neither Pope nor his companion had in any way deceived Brown in order to gain entry to the residence, the Supreme Court held that the state statute did not permit a conviction for burglary.

Tennessee law makes a distinction between burglary – a theft after unauthorized entry into a place where someone resides – and robbery – a theft from a person.

Pope, who is serving a 10-year sentence for the robbery, may be retried for the lesser offenses of aggravated criminal trespass or criminal trespass, both misdemeanors.

Read the opinion in State of Tennessee v. Marcus Pope, authored by Chief Justice Gary R. Wade.