STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT HURST AND DESTINY HURST - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 24, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Bruce E. Poston, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Hurst.

Attorneys 2:

John M. Boucher, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Destiny Hurst.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall Eugene Nichols, District Attorney General; and Ta Kisha M. Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): PAGE

A Knox County jury found appellants Robert Hurst and Destiny Hurst guilty of four counts of felony murder; one count of second degree murder as a lesser-included offense of felony murder; one count of first degree premeditated murder; and two counts of especially aggravated robbery. They were found not guilty of two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and not guilty of all counts of employing a firearm during a dangerous felony. The trial court imposed life sentences upon both appellants for the murder conviction,a concurrent eighteen-year sentence for appellant Robert Hurst’s especially aggravated robbery conviction, and a consecutive thirty-five-year sentence for appellant Destiny Hurst’s especially aggravated robbery conviction. In this appeal, appellants jointly challenge the sufficiency of the convicting evidence underlying the felony murder convictions and the trial court’s failure to poll the jury as to a witness’s status as an accomplice. Appellant Robert Hurst argues that there was a conflict surrounding the manner in which authorities matched his fingerprint to the bloody fingerprint found at the scene. Appellant Destiny Hurst claims that the State committed a Brady2 violation; that the trial court erred in permitting the State to present evidence of her other crimes, wrongs, or acts pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); and that the trial court erred in characterizing her as a professional criminal, sentencing her at the top of her range, and imposing consecutive sentences. Based on our review of the record as a whole, we affirm both appellants’ convictions and sentences. However, for each appellant, we remand this cause for entry of a single judgment form reflecting merger of all counts of murder and a single judgment form reflecting merger of both counts of especially aggravated robbery. Appellant Destiny Hurst’s judgment for especially aggravated robbery should note consecutive sentence alignment of her thirty-fiveyear sentence with her life sentence for murder. We also note, with respect to appellant Destiny Hurst, that the record does not contain a judgment form for Count 12, knowingly employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony after having been previously convicted of the same. Thus, we order the criminal court to supplement the record with a judgment form reflecting the jury’s verdict of not guilty on this count of the indictment.

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