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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Nov 26, 2013

Head Comment: CORRECTION: On page 1 in the last two lines "and Blake Murchinson, Assistant District Attorney General" has been deleted

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robin R. Flores, Chattanooga, Tennessee (on appeal); Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender; and Blake Murchinson, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Guy L. Hines.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Kyle Hixson, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The defendant was found guilty after a trial by jury of one count of robbery, a Class C felony, and one count of assault, which, depending on the circumstances, can be either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor, but which the trial court treated as a Class A misdemeanor. The defendant was sentenced to four years for the robbery and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the assault. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by failing to dismiss the robbery charge due to a defect in the indictment. The defendant also claims that the trial court erred in an evidentiary ruling and by failing to grant him a new trial on the grounds that the prosecutor made improper comments during voir dire. After carefully reviewing the record and the arguments of the parties, we find that the defendant’s arguments lack merit, but we conclude that the trial court erroneously classified the defendant’s assault conviction as a Class A misdemeanor when it was properly classified as a Class B misdemeanor. We modify the judgment of the trial court accordingly and impose a modified sentence of six months on this count. The judgments of the trial court are otherwise affirmed.