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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 28, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Gregory D. Smith (on appeal) and Edward E. DeWerff (at trial), Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jonathan Downey.

Attorneys 2: Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Carey Thompson and Craig Monsue, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): BIVINS

Jonathan Downey (“the Defendant”) was convicted by a jury of first degree felony murder, criminally negligent homicide, and aggravated burglary. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to life imprisonment for the felony murder and then merged the latter two convictions with the felony murder conviction. In this direct appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence was not sufficient to support his conviction of first degree felony murder. The State asks this Court to reverse the trial court’s merger of the aggravated burglary conviction. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the Defendant’s conviction of first degree felony murder. We order the trial court to reinstate the Defendant’s conviction of aggravated burglary and remand this matter for sentencing on that conviction.