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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 15, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Steven Bebb, District Attorney General; and James H. Stutts, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

W. Tyler Weiss, Madisonville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Randy George Rogers and Matthew Rogers, Athens, Tennessee (at trial); for the appellee, Cheryl Rebecca Norwood.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The defendant (along with several co-defendants) was indicted on eight counts of a ten-count indictment: one count of first degree murder; one count of conspiracy to commit first degree murder; one count of arson; two counts of tampering with evidence; one count of theft of property valued at $10,000 or more; one count of abuse of a corpse; and one count of credit card fraud. Prior to trial, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion to suppress three statements given to police after the defendant was “voluntarily” detained. The State sought and received permission to file an interlocutory appeal. Upon review, we conclude that the defendant was, in fact, arrested when she was detained but that her arrest was supported by probable cause. We further conclude that the defendant was given sufficiently prompt judicial review of the officer’s probable cause determination. For these reasons, the trial court’s order granting the defendant’s motion to suppress is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.