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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 24, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

C. Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender (on appeal and at trial); and James P. McNamara, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Vernica Shabree Calloway.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren and Katrin Miller, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): GLENN

The defendant, Vernica Shabree Calloway, was convicted of aggravated child neglect, a Class A felony, and reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony. The trial court merged the assault conviction with the neglect conviction and sentenced the defendant as a violent offender to twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support her convictions; (2) the trial court erred by not requiring the State to make an election of offenses; (3) the trial court erred in not instructing the jury that it could convict her of either Count 1 or Count 2 of the indictment, but not both; (4) her convictions violate double jeopardy; (5) the trial court erred in admitting expert opinion testimony after the State violated the trial court’s order with respect to the information that could be provided to the expert; (6) the trial court erred in admitting as an exhibit a “learned treatise”; (7) the trial court erred in admitting unfairly prejudicial and irrelevant evidence; (8) the trial court erred by denying her motion to redact portions of her interviews with the police and the Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”); (9) the trial court erred in admitting testimony from the victim’s foster mother; and (10) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. Following our review, we conclude, as we will explain, that the defendant’s issues are without merit. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court but remand for entry of an amended judgment setting the defendant’s release eligibility at 30%.