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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Aug 19, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Andrea Sipes Lester (on appeal), Jackson, Tennessee and David A. Stowers (at trial), Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jimmy Dale Qualls.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Joe Van Dyke and Katie Walsh, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): TIPTON

The Defendant, Jimmy Dale Qualls, was convicted by a Hardeman County Circuit Court jury of thirty-seven counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, Class C felonies. See T.C.A. § 39-13-527 (2010). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to five years for each conviction and ordered partial consecutive sentences. The thirty-seven counts were separated into seven groups for sentencing purposes. Group A contained Counts 1 through 6, Group B contained Counts 7 and 8, Group C contained Counts 9 through 14, Group D contained Counts 15 though 20, Group E contained Counts 21 through 26, Group F contained Counts 27 through 32, and Group G contained Counts 33 to 37. The court ordered each group to run consecutively to each other, for an effective thirty-five-year sentence. The court further ordered the effective thirty-five-year sentence. On appeal, he contends that the State failed to make a proper election of the offenses and that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. We conclude that the State failed to make an adequate election of the offenses, and we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.