STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHELLY MINOR - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 27, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph A. McClusky, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shelly Minor.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Shelly Minor, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for several offenses after the death of his estranged girlfriend. At the conclusion of a lengthy jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of second degree murder, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, driving while a habitual motor vehicle offender, driving under the influence (“DUI”), reckless driving, vehicular homicide by intoxication, and vehicular homicide by reckless conduct. At sentencing, the trial court merged the vehicular homicide convictions with the second degree murder conviction and merged the reckless driving conviction with the conviction for driving under the influence. As a result of the convictions, Appellant was ordered to serve an effective sentence of twenty-eight years, eleven months, and twenty-eight days. A motion for new trial was denied and this appeal followed. On appeal, Appellant argues that: (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) the trial court erred in denying a continuance; (3) the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce evidence of prior bad acts of Appellant and hearsay statements made by the victim; (4) the State committed discovery violations with regard to recorded telephone calls made by Appellant while incarcerated; (5) cumulative errors necessitate a reversal of Appellant’s convictions; and (6) the trial court erred in sentencing Appellant to an excessive sentence with consecutive sentencing. After a review of the record and applicable authorities, we determine: (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) Appellant failed to show what the testimony of the missing witness would have been at trial and, therefore, cannot show prejudice from the trial court’s failure to grant a continuance to secure the witness’s attendance at trial; (3) the trial court properly allowed the State to introduce evidence of prior bad acts of Appellant under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b) and 804(b)(6); (4) Appellant failed to show how he was prejudiced by the State’s alleged discovery violations; (5) cumulative errors do not necessitate a reversal of Appellant’s convictions; and (6) the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

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