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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 28, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Gene G. Scott, Jonesborough, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Charles Austin.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; and Anthony Clark, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

Appellant, Jason Charles Austin, was indicted by a Washington County grand jury for one count of first-degree murder. After a jury trial, he was convicted of the lesser-included offense of second-degree murder and subsequently sentenced to twenty-three years. On appeal, Appellant argues that: (1) the trial court erred by allowing Appellant’s case to be severed from the case of his co-defendant; (2) the State violated Appellant’s rights under the Tennessee and United States Constitutions; (3) the trial court erred in concluding that Christina Boone was a hostile witness and allowing the State to examine her with regard to her previous statement made to the police; (4) the trial court erred in denying Appellant’s motion to dismiss the indictment based upon the loss of key evidence; (5) the State violated the Rule of Exclusion; (6) the trial court erred by refusing Appellant’s request to call a surrebuttal witness; (7) the trial court erred in instructing the jury that guilt may be inferred from evidence of flight and from concealment of evidence; (8) the trial court erred by imposing a twenty-three-year sentence; and (9) Appellant was denied a fair trial because of cumulative error. Following our review of the record, we find no reversible error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.