Revis v. State

Decision Date17 August 2012
Docket NumberCR–06–0454.
Citation101 So.3d 247
PartiesChristopher Dewayne REVIS v. STATE of Alabama.
CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals

101 So.3d 247

Christopher Dewayne REVIS
STATE of Alabama.


Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.

Jan. 13, 2011.
Opinion on Return to Remand Sept. 30, 2011.

Rehearing Denied Feb. 10, 2012.

Certiorari Denied Aug. 17, 2012

Alabama Supreme Court 1110584.

[101 So.3d 259]

J. Tony Glenn, Hamilton; and Randall S. Susskind and Aaryn M. Urell, Montgomery, for appellant.

Troy King and Luther Strange, attys. gen., and Richard D. Anderson, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.

MAIN, Judge.

Christopher (Chris) Dewayne Revis appeals from his convictions of capital murder for the intentional murder of Jerry Stidham1 by shooting him with a .22-caliber rifle during the course of committing a first-degree robbery of money and drugs. § 13A–5–40(a)(2), Ala.Code 1975. The jury recommended that Revis be sentenced to death by a vote of 11–1. Following a separate sentencing hearing, the trial court determined that the aggravating circumstance that the murder was committed during a robbery, § 13A–5–49(a)(4), Ala.Code 1975, outweighed the one mitigating circumstance argued—that he had no significant criminal history, § 13A–5–51(1), Ala.Code 1975. Revis was sentenced to death by the trial court.

The evidence presented by the State tended to show the following. On February 22, 2004, Revis telephoned Jerry Stidham, a friend of his from whom he had often purchased prescription pain pills. He arranged to purchase pills from Stidham. Later, Revis, accompanied by his uncle, Eddie Revis, and his younger brother, Jason Revis, took his great-aunt to the hospital and the men then returned to her house. There, they determined to get the pills from Jerry Stidham and, if Stidham would not give them the pills on credit, they decided that they would rob him. Eddie Revis lived in Eddie's aunt's (Chris Revis's great-aunt's) house, so the three men retrieved a .22–caliber rifle 2 that Eddie Revis had hidden in his room. In a later statement given to an investigator, Revis admitted that he formulated the plan to rob Stidham.

Jason Revis drove Revis and Eddie Revis to Stidham's mobile home. Revis went into the mobile home alone and spoke with Stidham. Stidham then walked outside to his vehicle in order to get the pills3 he intended to sell to Revis from the trunk. He carried the pills into the mobile home, whereupon Revis told him that he would go out to his vehicle to get the money to pay for the pills.

He got the rifle from the vehicle, and, when he reentered the mobile home, he began shooting Stidham. He fired eight shots, and Stidham was hit five times. Eddie Revis and Jason Revis walked into the mobile home as soon as Revis began firing shots, and Eddie Revis cut Stidham's throat. Revis grabbed the pills, and he and Eddie Revis picked up some of the

[101 So.3d 260]

shell casings. Jason Revis took Stidham's wallet.4 The men walked outside to their vehicle and drove back to Revis's great-aunt's house. There, they split up the pills and the money.5 They then put Stidham's wallet in a can, poured gasoline over it, and burned it.

Revis stated that he became nervous and decided that they should leave the aunt's house. The men rented a room at the Days Inn motel. After approximately three hours, they checked out of the motel and drove Eddie Revis to his aunt's house. Revis and Jason Revis then picked up their grandmother and went to church. Afterwards, they returned to the hospital to visit their great-aunt, whereupon Revis received a telephone call from his mother informing him that Stidham had been found dead.

Eddie Revis, who was on parole at the time of the offense, asked a friend, Burlon Mauldin, if he could leave his guns 6 at the Mauldin's house, so that he would not be charged with violating his parole. Mauldin agreed but returned the guns when he learned that Stidham had been killed with a .22–caliber rifle, which was the same type of weapon as one of the two guns Eddie Revis had brought to his house. He and Eddie Revis then took the guns and some ammunition to another friend, Helen Cole, and she agreed to keep them.

Shane Swinney, who had been a friend of Stidham's and who discovered his body, heard that Mauldin had been given the rifle to keep for Eddie Revis and reported that information to an investigator with the district attorney's office. The investigator then contacted Mauldin, who agreed to go to his friend's house and fire the rifle. He brought two shell casings to the investigator that he acquired by firing the rifle, and they were sent to the Department of Forensic Sciences to be compared to the casings gathered from the scene of the Stidham's murder. It was determined that all the casings had been fired from the same gun. Therefore, a search warrant was obtained, and the rifle and the ammunition were recovered from the friend's home. The rifle was determined to be the weapon that was used in the murder of Stidham.

Revis was subsequently arrested pursuant to an outstanding warrant for worthless checks. He was questioned concerning his involvement in the present offense and gave two statements, originally denying involvement but then admitting to robbing and killing Stidham.


Revis argues that the trial court reversibly erred by admitting his statements into evidence. He alleges as grounds that his statements were the fruit of an illegal arrest; that an incomplete version of one of the statements was erroneously admitted; that the State did not present independent proof of the corpus delicti; that his statements were involuntary; that his statements were not timely or completely disclosed; and his statements contained improper hearsay and prior-bad-acts evidence.

The record indicates that Revis gave his first statement on November 4, 2004, and gave a second statement on November 7,

[101 So.3d 261]

2004, followed by a third statement given shortly thereafter. In his first statement, Revis indicated that he did not know that Stidham had been killed until he had been contacted by his mother on the day after the offense and that he had not had any contact with Stidham on the day of the offense.

In his second statement, Revis acknowledged that he and his uncle and brother had decided to rob Stidham of prescription pain pills but that there had been an agreement that Stidham not be hurt. Moreover, Revis stated that he had insisted that he not be required to approach Stidham or to enter the house, because he was friends with Stidham and Stidham could identify him. He stated that his uncle had taken the rifle, which he had retrieved from Revis's great-aunt's house, into Stidham's mobile home. Revis also indicated that his younger brother had also gone into Stidham's mobile home with his uncle. He stated that he never heard any gunshots and maintained that he did not know that Stidham had been killed until his mother so informed him.

Finally, just after giving the second statement,7 Revis admitted that he had called the victim on the day before the offense and arranged to purchase the pills. He, his brother and uncle then took Revis's great-aunt to the hospital and afterwards returned to Revis's uncle's home where the three men determined to rob Stidham of the pills. They also got a .22–caliber rifle that Revis's uncle had hidden in his bedroom under his mattress and drove to Stidham's mobile home, where Revis admittedly entered to allegedly buy the pills. Stidham walked out to his automobile to retrieve the pills from the trunk of the vehicle. After he had reentered the mobile home, Revis told Stidham that he was going to his vehicle to get the money to pay for the pills. However, Revis took the rifle from the vehicle and walked back into the mobile home. He stated that as he walked into the mobile home with the rifle, Stidham asked what he was doing and then appeared to reach toward a love-seat that was positioned close to the couch on which Stidham was seated. Revis stated that Stidham kept a gun under the love-seat. Revis stated that he fired approximately eight times toward Stidham.8 He stated that he then grabbed the pills and ran from the trailer.

He further stated that his uncle and his brother entered the mobile home soon after he began firing and that his uncle cut Stidham's throat. Revis indicated that his brother screamed at their uncle, demanding to know why he had cut Stidham's throat. According to Revis, the uncle indicated that Stidham was still breathing after he had been shot.


Revis contends that his statement was inadmissible because, he says, it was the fruit of a warrantless arrest. He argues that because there was no warrant to arrest him and no exigent circumstances to justify the arrest, his subsequent statements were inadmissible. Revis failed to raise this issue in the trial court and is arguing this point for the first time on appeal. Therefore, this issue is to be evaluated pursuant to the plain-error rule. Rule 45A, Ala.R.App.P.

“ ‘ “Plain error” has been defined as error “ ‘so obvious that the failure to notice it would seriously affect the

[101 So.3d 262]

fairness or integrity of the judicial proceedings.’ ” Ex parte Womack, 435 So.2d 766, 769 (Ala.1983), quoting United States v. Chaney, 662 F.2d 1148, 1152 (5th Cir.1981). “To rise to the level of plain error, the claimed error must not only seriously affect a defendant's ‘substantial rights,’ but it must also have an unfair prejudicial impact on the jury's deliberations.” Hyde v. State, 778 So.2d 199, 209 (Ala.Crim.App.1998), aff'd, 778 So.2d 237 (Ala.2000). This Court has recognized that the “ ‘plain-error exception to the contemporaneous-objection rule is to be “used sparingly, solely in those circumstances in which a miscarriage of justice would otherwise result.” ’ ” Burton v. State, 651 So.2d 641, 645 (Ala.Crim.App.1993), aff'd, 651 So.2d 659 (Ala.1994), quoting United States v. Young, 470 U.S. 1, 15, 105 S.Ct. 1038, 84 L.Ed.2d 1 (1985), quoting in turn United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 163 n. 14, 102 S.Ct. 1584, 71 L.Ed.2d 816 (1982).'

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