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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 13, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Cameron D. Bell (at sentencing and on appeal), Knoxville, Tennessee; Mark Stephens, District Public Defender; and John Halstead, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terrence Lamont McDonald.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Senior Counsel; Charme Allen, District Attorney General; and Leslie Nassios, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

Following a jury trial, Terrence Lamont McDonald (“the Defendant”) was convicted of four counts of aggravated rape and one count of reckless endangerment, as a lesser-included offense of aggravated assault. At a sentencing hearing, the trial court merged the Defendant’s convictions for aggravated rape in counts two and four into his aggravated rape convictions in counts one and three, respectively. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of 25 years in the Department of Correction. In this direct appeal, the Defendant raises claims that: 1) the State violated Batson by striking African-American potential jurors from the venire; 2) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct in closing argument; 3) the trial court erroneously admitted evidence under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); 4) his convictions for two counts of aggravated rape violate principles of double jeopardy; 5) count five of the indictment fails to state an offense; 6) the Defendant’s conviction for reckless endangerment in count five violated his right to an unanimous verdict; and 7) the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing. Following a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we discern no error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.