STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JESSIE DOTSON - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 25, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Kathleen Morris, Nashville, Tennessee, and Marty Brett McAfee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jessie Dotson.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey Dean Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Damon Griffin, Reginald Henderson, and Raymond Lepone, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): GLENN

A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant, Jessie Dotson, of six counts of premeditated first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder. The jury sentenced the defendant to death for each conviction of first degree murder. Following a separate sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to forty years for each conviction for attempted first degree murder, to be served consecutively to each other and to the first degree murder sentences. On appeal, the defendant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; (2) testimony regarding one of the victims’ statement to police was hearsay and its admission violated the United States and Tennessee Constitutions; (3) the admission of the defendant’s custodial statements violated his rights under the United States and Tennessee Constitutions; (4) the admission of testimony that the defendant invoked his right to counsel violated his due process rights; (5) the admission of testimony regarding the defendant’s history of imprisonment violated his right to a fair trial; (6) the trial court’s treatment of defense counsel in the jury’s presence violated his right to a fair trial; (7) the admission of the pathologist’s testimony regarding autopsies that she did not perform violated the defendant’s confrontation rights; (8) the trial court erred in admitting photographs of the victims; (9) the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to provide DNA analysis of all those who came in contact with the crime scene; (10) the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion for production of the statements of those not to be called as witnesses for the State; (11) the trial court improperly defined “reasonable doubt” in instructing the jury; (12) the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on facilitation of first degree murder as a lesser included offense; (13) the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to strike aggravating circumstances; (14) the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion for a probable cause finding regarding the aggravating circumstances; (15) the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion for disclosure of information regarding the proportionality review; (16) the admission of victim impact evidence was improper; (17) the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to argue last during the penalty phase; (18) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct during its argument to the jury; (19) the trial court erred in allowing the death verdicts to stand; (20) the defendant’s sentences for his three convictions for attempted first degree murder were excessive; and (21) cumulative error requires reversal. Based upon our review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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