STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TUCSON BIGGS - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 23, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tucson Biggs.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General, and Patience Branham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WEDEMEYER

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Tucson Biggs, of voluntary manslaughter. At the sentencing hearing, the State requested that the Defendant be sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender. The Defendant objected, claiming that the State did not comply with Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-202(a) by providing notice of its intent to seek an enhanced punishment. The trial court agreed with the Defendant and sentenced him to six years as a Range I offender. On appeal, the State contends that the Defendant was on notice that he would face an enhanced punishment because, before trial, the State filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty and a notice of intent to impeach the Defendant’s testimony with his prior convictions, which satisfied the statutory requirements. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we agree that the State’s filings satisfied the purposes of the statutory notice requirement. As such, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for a new sentencing hearing.

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