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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 6, 2014

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Kevin Rardin and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

R. Todd Mosley (on appeal); and Robert Parris (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Courtney Bishop.

Judge(s): KOCH

This appeal involves questions regarding when the police may legally arrest a suspect based on information provided by an accomplice and the amount of corroboration required to convict a person who has confessed to a crime. A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant of attempted aggravated robbery and first-degree felony murder. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed both convictions after deciding (1) that the defendant’s confession should have been suppressed because it was the result of an illegal arrest and detention and (2) that the evidence was insufficient to support either conviction because the State did not introduce sufficient evidence, independent of the defendant’s confession, to corroborate the commission of the attempted robbery. State v. Bishop, No. W2010-01207-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 938969 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 14, 2012). We have determined that the police had probable cause to arrest the defendant. We have also determined that the defendant’s incourt confession did not require corroboration but that, had his extrajudicial confession required corroboration, the State presented ample evidence that this confession was trustworthy. Therefore, we reverse the Court of Criminal Appeals and reinstate the defendant’s convictions and sentences.