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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 30, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Timothy R. Wilkerson (on appeal); Wayne Culbertson (at trial); and Matthew King (at trial) Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael David Fields.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and Barry P. Staubus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Michael Fields, was indicted by the Sullivan County Grand Jury for two counts of first degree murder, two counts of first degree felony murder, and two counts of especially aggravated robbery. After a jury trial, he was convicted as charged. The jury determined that the sentence for the first degree murder counts should be life without parole. The trial court merged the first degree murder convictions into the first degree felony murder convictions. The trial court imposed a twenty-five-year sentence for each especially aggravated robbery conviction. The twenty-five-year sentences were ordered to run concurrently to the life sentences. The two life sentences were ordered to run consecutively to each other and consecutively to a previously imposed sentence of life plus forty years. Appellant presents several arguments on appeal: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to change venue; (2) the trial court erred in denying his request for the trial judge to recuse himself; (3) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a mistrial when there was juror contact with the prosecuting officer; (4) there was prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument; (5) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statement to police; (6) the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of Appellant’s proffered expert witness, Dr. Charlton Stanley; (7) the trial court erred in allowing the use of a stun belt on Appellant during the trial; (8) the trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal; (9) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; and (10) the trial court erred in imposing the sentence for especially aggravated robbery and in ordering consecutive sentences. Appellant argues several smaller miscellaneous issues concerning evidentiary rulings, closing argument of the State, the denial of his request to have both of his attorneys present separate closing arguments, the denial of funds to pay an expert witness, and the failure to assure that Appellant received his prescribed medication in jail. After a thorough review of the record, we find no error. Therefore, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.