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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on May 18, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

L. Samuel Patterson, Columbia, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Javoris Sparkman.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; T. Michael (Mike) Bottoms, District Attorney General, and Kimberly Cooper, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

A Maury County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Javoris Sparkman, of one count of first degree murder, two counts of felony murder, and nine counts of attempted first degree murder. For the first degree murder in count one, Sparkman received a sentence of life. The trial court merged the first degree felony murder in count two with the first degree murder in count one. For the first degree felony murder in count four, Sparkman received another life sentence, to be served consecutively to the sentence of life for the first degree murder in count one. For each attempted first degree murder, Sparkman received a sentence of fifteen years, to be served concurrently. In total, Sparkman received two sentences of life plus 15 years. On appeal, Sparkman argues the trial court erred in (1) failing to charge the jury with self-defense; (2) refusing to allow individual voir dire of prospective jurors; (3) refusing to excuse a juror with prior knowledge of the case; and (4) denying a motion for change of venue. Upon our review, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed, except for counts one and two which are vacated and the case is remanded for entry of a single judgment reflecting the merger of counts one and two.