STATE OF TENNESSEE v. REBA NELL WOODS - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 9, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Kevin McGee (on appeal) and Joshua Brand (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Reba Nell Woods.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): OGLE

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Reba Nell Woods, of three counts of selling twenty-six grams or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, a Class A felony, and two counts of selling twenty-six grams or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a park, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced her as a Range III, career offender to an effective sentence of ninety years. On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court erred by refusing to sever the offenses, that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions, and that the trial court committed numerous reversible errors regarding the admissibility of evidence. Upon review, we conclude that the trial court erred by failing to sever the offenses and that the error was not harmless as to the appellant’s convictions in counts 3, 4, and 5. Therefore, those convictions are reversed, and the case is remanded to the trial court for new trials on those charges. We also conclude that although the evidence is sufficient to show that the appellant sold twenty-six grams or more of cocaine in counts 1 and 2, the evidence is insufficient to show that she did so within 1,000 feet of a park. Therefore, the case is remanded to the trial court for correction of those judgments. Finding no errors that warrant reversal of the appellant’s convictions for selling twenty-six grams or more of cocaine in counts 1 and 2, those convictions are affirmed. However, upon remand, the trial court is to consider whether the appellant’s mandatory thirty-year sentences should be served consecutively.

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