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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 26, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

B. Jeffrey Harmon, District Public Defender; and Philip A. Condra, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Steven Wayne Wilson.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steve Strain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WITT

A Sequatchie County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, Steven Wayne Wilson, of first degree felony murder, see T.C.A. § 39-13-202(a)(2), and especially aggravated burglary, see id. § 39-14-404. Following the jury’s verdicts, the trial court modified the especially aggravated burglary conviction to aggravated burglary by operation of law, see id. § 39-14- 404(d), and imposed an effective sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, also by operation of law, see id. § 39-13-208(c). On appeal, the defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (2) the trial court erroneously denied his motion to suppress, (3) the trial court erroneously admitted and excluded evidence during Agent Mark Wilson’s testimony, (4) the trial court erroneously admitted expert testimony via an unqualified witness, (5) the State failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, (6) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury regarding the elements of felony murder as charged in this case, (7) the trial court’s rulings and comments evinced judicial bias requiring recusal, (8) the trial court erroneously excluded as hearsay the statements of two witnesses, (9) the trial court erroneously admitted the autopsy report as an exhibit at trial, (10) the trial court erroneously admitted physical evidence without establishing a proper chain of custody, (11) the overall conduct of the trial deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial under the Tennessee Constitution, and (12) the cumulative effect of the trial errors deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial. Following an extensive review, we determine that the evidence is sufficient to support the convictions and that the trial court committed no reversible error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.