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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 25, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Ben Hall McFarlin, III, (at trial and on appeal), Ken Burger (at trial), and Claire Burger (at trial), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronald W. Damon.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and J. Paul Newman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): TIPTON

The Defendant, Ronald W. Damon, was convicted by a Rutherford County Circuit Court jury of two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, Class A felonies; aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; aggravated burglary, a Class C felony; and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, a Class D felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-305 (2010) (especially aggravated kidnapping), 39-13-402 (2010) (aggravated robbery), 39-14-403 (aggravated burglary), 39- 12-103 (2010) (criminal conspiracy). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to consecutive terms of twenty-three years as a violent offender for each of the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions, eleven years as a Range I, standard offender for aggravated robbery, nine years as a Range II, multiple offender for aggravated burglary, and seven years as a Range II, multiple offender for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial, (2) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (3) the court erred in allowing an eight-day break in the trial between the proof and the closing arguments, (4) the court erred in excluding the testimony of a 9-1-1 operator regarding one of the victim’s statements, (5) the court erred in admitting testimony about a letter he wrote, (6) the court erred in admitting evidence of his prior bad acts, (7) the court erred in allowing the State to play portions of a video recording of his pretrial statement, (8) the court erred in allowing a jail inmate to testify without being subject to cross-examination about the truthfulness or falsity of his prior testimony in another matter, (9) the court erred in admitting testimony about his financial problems despite the witness’s lack of personal knowledge, (10) the court erroneously admitted evidence in his first trial that resulted in a hung jury but would have resulted in an acquittal if the evidence had not been admitted, and (11) the court erred during sentencing. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.