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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 2, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

John P. Pritchard (at trial) and Lance R. Chism (on appeal), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Sims.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; Steve Jones, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): BIVINS

The Defendant, Eric Sims, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a standard offender to eight years on each conviction to be served concurrently. The Defendant filed an untimely notice of appeal, raising three issues: (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to support his convictions for aggravated robbery; (2) whether the trial court erred by allowing the State to question the Defendant about his arrest involving an explosive device at school when he was fourteen years old; and (3) whether the trial court erred by instructing the jury as to all three subsections of the criminal responsibility statute, Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-402 (2006). After a careful review of the record, we hold that the trial court erred by instructing the jury as to all three subdivisions of the criminal responsibility statute. We, however, conclude that the Defendant failed to prove that this error probably changed the outcome of the trial. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.