STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY D. ROTHWELL - Articles

All Content


Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jun 20, 2013

Head Comment: With Concurring Opinion

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry D. Rothwell.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and James Pope, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Larry D. Rothwell, was convicted by a Rhea County jury of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty-one years in incarceration. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant has presented the following issues for our review on appeal: (1) whether the trial court abused its discretion by excusing a juror; (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to allow introduction of portions of a witness’s pretrial interview; (3) whether the trial court improperly excluded evidence about how the fight between Appellant and the victim started, determining that evidence from Betty Lewis was collateral; (4) whether the trial court improperly refused to enforce a subpoena for Betty Lewis on behalf of Appellant; (5) whether the trial court improperly denied Appellant the opportunity to impeach Brandy Smith; (6) whether the trial court improperly allowed hearsay testimony; (7) whether the trial court improperly excluded Randy Rothwell’s testimony about the description of a knife removed from the victim’s body; (8) whether the trial court improperly declared Randy Rothwell a hostile witness; (9) whether the trial court improperly excluded evidence of Brandy Smith’s prior felony conviction; (10) whether the trial court improperly denied the motion to suppress; (10) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction; (11) whether cumulative errors of the trial court require reversal of the conviction; and (12) whether the sentence was excessive. After a review of the record, we determine that the evidence did not preponderate against the denial of the motion to suppress where the evidence supported a finding of exigent circumstances; the trial court did not err in excusing a juror; the trial court properly excluded impeachment of Brandy Smith by prior inconsistent statement where she admitted to an inconsistency in one prior statement and the other statement was not inconsistent; the trial court properly determined that the testimony of Betty Lewis was excluded by the collateral fact rule; the trial court properly admitted the statements of Randy Rothwell; the trial court properly excluded the testimony of Leo Andy about the knife on the victim’s person as hearsay; the trial court properly determined that Randy Rothwell was a hostile witness; the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that the admission of Brandy Smith’s prior conviction was more prejudicial than probative; the evidence was sufficient to support the lesser included offense of second degree murder; and the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.