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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 14, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

C. Michael Robbins, Covington, Tennessee (on appeal); and David A. Stowers and Daryl Gray, Bolivar, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Brenda Woods.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Senior Counsel; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Bob Gray, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): GLENN

The defendant, Brenda Woods, was convicted by a Hardeman County jury of three counts of procuring an illegal vote, a Class E felony, and was sentenced by the trial court to concurrent terms of two years for each offense, with credit given for one day’s jail service and the remainder of the time on supervised probation. The defendant was also disqualified from holding public office for the duration of her sentence pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-20-114(a). She raises the following four issues on appeal: (1) whether the prosecutor engaged in misconduct that deprived her of a fundamentally fair trial; (2) whether the trial court erred by overruling her Batson challenge to the prosecutor’s exercise of a peremptory challenge; (3) whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain her convictions; and (4) whether the trial court erred by allowing testimony from an investigator about his telephone conversations with her. Following our review, we reverse and remand for a new trial.