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Posted by: Barry Kolar on Jun 6, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Barry W. Kuhn (on appeal) and Charles Mitchell, Coleman Garrett, and Gerald Skahan (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jimmie Martin.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Tracy L. Alcock, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham and Sam Winnig, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCGEE OGLE

A Shelby County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Jimmie Martin, of second degree murder, a Class A felony, and the trial court sentenced him to twenty years to be served at 100%. On appeal, the appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction; that the trial court erred by allowing State witnesses to testify about his prior bad acts in violation of Rule 404(b), Tennessee Rules of Evidence; and that the trial court erred by ruling that statements made by the victim were admissible under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the trial court erred by ruling that the victim statements to a police officer qualified as excited utterances. However, we conclude that the error was harmless and affirm the appellant’s conviction.