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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 4, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

C. Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender (on appeal and at trial); and James P. McNamara, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Vernica Shabree Calloway.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren and Katrin Miller, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): GLENN

The defendant, Vernica Shabree Calloway, was convicted of aggravated child neglect, a Class A felony, and reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony. The trial court merged the assault conviction with the neglect conviction and sentenced the defendant as a violent offender to twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support her convictions; (2) the trial court erred by not requiring the State to make an election of offenses; (3) the trial court erred in not instructing the jury that it could convict her of either Count 1 or Count 2 of the indictment, but not both; (4) her convictions violate double jeopardy; (5) the trial court erred in admitting expert opinion testimony after the State violated the trial court’s order with respect to the information that could be provided to the expert; (6) the trial court erred in admitting as an exhibit a “learned treatise”; (7) the trial court erred in admitting unfairly prejudicial and irrelevant evidence; (8) the trial court erred by denying her motion to redact portions of her interviews with the police and the Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”); (9) the trial court erred in admitting testimony from the victim’s foster mother; and (10) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. Following our review, we remand for entry of a single judgment setting the defendant’s release eligibility at 30%. We conclude that all of the defendant’s other issues are without merit and affirm the judgment of the trial court.