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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 20, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1: D. Brent Gray, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Greta Cooper.

Attorneys 2: Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William P. Phillips, District Attorney General; and Michael O. Ripley, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Greta Cooper, was indicted along with two codefendents for multiple counts of theft of property and forgery. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of eight counts of theft of property valued over $500, three counts of theft of property valued over $1,000, one count of theft of property valued over $10,000, and twelve counts of forgery. 1 As a result of the convictions, Appellant was sentenced to an effect sentence of three years, to be served as six months in confinement followed by six years on probation. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant appealed. On appeal, she asserts that the trial court improperly excluded a statement made by the victim to law enforcement that he gave Appellant the money which was the subject of her theft convictions. We determine that Appellant failed to properly raise the issue in a motion for new trial. Therefore, the issue is waived absent a showing of plain error. After a review of the record, we decline to review the issue for plain error because the trial court did not breach a clear and unequivocal rule of law. Specifically, we agree with the trial court’s determination that the statement made by Lonzia Taylor was not admissible as a statement against interest because it was made under circumstances which render it unreliable. Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.