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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 5, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender; Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender, (on appeal); Kristen Neff and Katie Weiss, Assistant Public Defenders, (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael L. Webster.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Sarah Davis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

The Davidson County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Michael L. Webster, for one count of first degree premeditated murder. A jury found Appellant guilty of the lesser included offense of second degree murder. The trial court sentenced Appellant to twenty-five years at 100% as a Range I, standard offender. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. The State argues that the trial court erred in determining that Appellant was a Range I, standard offender and should have sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender based upon prior convictions out of Georgia. On appeal, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction because the jury rejected his claim of self-defense and Appellant was unable to raise reasonable doubt. We also determine that the trial court correctly determined that Appellant qualified as a Range I, standard offender because his Georgia conviction for burglary was equivalent to a Tennessee conviction for burglary and, therefore, Appellant did not have the requisite amount of the correct classification of prior felonies for him to qualify as a Range II, multiple offender. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.