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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 14, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James E. Thomas (on appeal), Juni Samrat Ganguli (at trial), and Janele Oleaga (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rodney Watkins.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Stephanie Zander Johnson and Kate Provencio Edmands, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): TIPTON

The Defendant, Rodney Watkins, appeals from his conviction by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2010). The Defendant is serving a twenty-five-year sentence as a violent offender. On appeal, he contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, (2) the trial court erred in admitting evidence about rumors regarding the victim’s disappearance, and (3) the trial court erred in ruling that the defense could not cross-examine a witness about the witness’s prior assault of his stepfather. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.