STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DANNY RAY SMITH - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 13, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David Brady (on appeal), John B. Nisbet, III (at trial and on appeal), and April Craven (at trial), Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Danny Ray Smith.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Randall A. York, District Attorney General; and Gary McKenzie and Amanda Hunter, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): OGLE

A Cumberland County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Danny Ray Smith, of one count of rape of a child, and the trial court sentenced him to twenty-five years to be served at 100%. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction; (2) the trial court erred by refusing to suppress his statement to police; (3) the trial court erred by allowing evidence of other sexual acts; (4) the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce into evidence drawings made by the victim before trial; (5) the trial court erred by allowing the State to lead the victim on direct examination; (6) the trial court erred by not forcing the State to give the defense a complete copy of the victim’s Department of Children’s Services records; and (7) the prosecutors’ closing arguments were improper. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the appellant’s conviction must be reversed because the trial court improperly allowed the State to present evidence of other sexual acts, the trial court improperly allowed the State to introduce into evidence drawings made by the victim, and the prosecutors gave improper closing arguments. Therefore, the case is remanded to the trial court for a new trial.

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