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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 30, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

André C. Wharton and Alexander C. Wharton, for the Defendant-Appellant, Pamela Taylor.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Patience R. Branham and Charles Summers, III, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Defendant, Pamela Taylor, was indicted for the first degree premeditated murder of her husband, Michael Taylor. Following a jury trial, she was convicted of second degree murder. The trial court sentenced her as a Range I, violent offender to twenty-one years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues: (1) the trial court erred in declining to suppress her statement to police; (2) the trial court erred in abbreviating voir dire and jury selection, which prevented her from properly questioning prospective jurors and kept her from invoking her last two peremptory challenges; (3) the ex parte communication between two senior attorneys with the district attorney’s office and the trial judge created an appearance of impropriety; (4) the successor judge erred in finding that the presiding judge had satisfied her duty as the thirteenth juror; (5) the trial court erred in admitting opinion testimony requiring specialized and/or expert knowledge; (6) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of her character and her prior bad acts; (7) the State committed pervasive prosecutorial misconduct; (8) the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the victim’s violence, anger, and aggression, which were offered as corroborative evidence that the victim was the first aggressor; (9) the evidence was insufficient to sustain her conviction for second degree murder; and (10) the trial court erred in imposing an excessive sentence. Upon review, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.