STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MATTHEW WHITEHAIR - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 13, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1: D. Brock East, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Matthew Whitehair.

Attorneys 2: Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and Laural Heminway, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

The Rutherford County Grand Jury indicted Defendant, Matthew Whitehair, for three counts of rape of a child, two counts of rape, eight counts of incest, three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, and one count of sexual battery by an authority figure. During the investigation of the case, officers interviewed Defendant at the police station and videotaped the interview. Prior to trial, Defendant filed a motion to suppress the videotaped interview. After a hearing, the trial court granted Defendant’s motion to suppress. The trial court held that the videotape was not relevant because Defendant’s answers were ambiguous. Following the granting of the motion to suppress the State moved the trial court for an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 9. The trial court denied this motion and the State applied in this Court for an extraordinary appeal pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 10. This Court granted the State’s application solely on the basis that the trial court acted arbitrarily in denying the application for a Rule 9 appeal. This Court did not address the merits of the granting of the motion to suppress. On appeal, the State argues that the trial court erred. We have reviewed the record on appeal and conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting the motion to suppress. Therefore, we affirm the trial court’s decision to grant Defendant’s motion to suppress.

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