STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRUCE D. MENDENHALL - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 30, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

C. Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender (at trial); Jason Gichner (at trial), Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal), and Melissa Harrison (on appeal), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Bruce D. Mendenhall.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Pamela Sue Anderson and Rachael Marie Sobrero, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): THOMAS

Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Bruce D. Mendenhall, was convicted of three counts and acquitted of two counts of solicitation to commit first degree murder, a Class B felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-12-102, -12-107, -13-202. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to ten years for each conviction and ordered that the sentences be served consecutively, for a total effective sentence of thirty years. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends the following: (1) that the trial court erred by denying his motion to sever two of the counts; (2) that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his statements to the police; (3) that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his statements made to a fellow inmate turned police informant; (4) that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress numerous letters the Defendant had sent from jail; (5) that the trial court erred by admitting redacted portions from numerous letters the Defendant had sent from jail and from several telephone conversations the Defendant had while in jail; (6) that the trial court erred by admitting evidence of another crime as “contextual background evidence;” (7) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the Defendant’s convictions; and (8) that the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences. Following 1 our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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