STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARTY JOE KELLEY - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 18, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

G. Jeff Cherry and David Veile, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marty Joe Kelley.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General, and Laural A. Nutt Hemminway, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Marty Joe Kelley, appeals after a lengthy jury trial during which a Rutherford County Jury convicted him of six counts of rape of a child, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, nine counts of rape without consent, twenty-five counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor. Appellant was sentenced to an effective thirty-nine year sentence, to be served at 100%. On appeal, Appellant argues: (1) the trial court improperly allowed the State to refer to the victim as “the victim” throughout the trial; (2) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct by referring to the victim as “the victim” throughout the trial; (3) the trial court improperly restricted defense counsel’s opening statement; (4) the trial court improperly allowed a State’s witness to remain unsequestered during trial; (5) the trial court erred by denying a mistrial; (6) the trial court improperly allowed the State’s witness to display and explain a speculum during testimony about the physical examination of the victim; (7) the trial court erred by “repeatedly” allowing the State to introduce hearsay; (8) the trial court improperly charged the jury regarding the offenses of rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery; (9) the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions; (10) the trial court improperly enhanced Appellant’s sentences; and (11) the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences. After a thorough and complete review of the record and applicable authorities, we conclude: (1) Appellant waived any issue with regard to references to “the victim” during trial by failure to object; (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion by prohibiting Appellant from reading a letter written by the victim to Appellant during opening statements where there was some confusion as to whether the State received the letter during discovery; (3) Appellant failed to show that the alleged prosecutorial misconduct alleged affected the verdict to the prejudice of Appellant; (4) Appellant waived any issue with respect to Detective Duke’s remaining in the courtroom for failure to object, and, any error is harmless; (5) Appellant waived any review of whether the trial court should have granted a mistrial because he failed to seek a mistrial; (6) Appellant waived any complaint with respect to Hollye Gallion’s testimony at trial for failure to object to the use of the speculum as demonstrative evidence, and, in the alternative, the trial court did not abuse its discretion; (7) Appellant waived most of the hearsay issues for failure to object at trial; (8) the trial court did not err in admitting the testimony of Mr. Perry that the victim never told him about the abuse; (9) Appellant’s sentences for rape of a child were improperly enhanced to twenty-three years because the trial court applied enhancement factors that were neither found by the jury nor admitted by Appellant; (10) the trial court properly ordered consecutive sentencing where Appellant was convicted of two of more offenses involving sexual abuse of a minor; (11) Appellant is not entitled to plain error review of the jury instructions; and (12) the State improperly elected facts for Count Five. Consequently, Appellant’s conviction in Count Five for rape of a child is reversed and remanded for a new trial. Appellant’s remaining sentences for rape of a child in Counts One, Two, Three, Four, and Six, are hereby modified to twenty years. Additionally, the trial court should enter a corrected judgment in Count Fifty and Fifty-eight to reflect Appellant’s conviction as soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed in part, reversed in part, modified in part, and remanded.

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