STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES HENRY ALLEN - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 23, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Jeff Kelly, District Public Defender; William L. Francisco and William Donaldson, Assistant Public Defenders (at trial); and Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, James Henry Allen.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Anthony Clark, District Attorney General; and Dennis Brooks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): EASTER

Defendant, James Henry Allen, was indicted by the Washington County Grand Jury for premeditated first degree murder, unlawful possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to employ it in the commission of a first degree murder, and a violation of an order of protection in connection with the murder of his ex-wife’s cohabiting boyfriend. During trial, the trial court dismissed the charge related to a violation of an order of protection. Defendant was convicted by a jury of first degree murder and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to employ it in the commission of a first degree murder. As a result, he was sentenced to an effective life sentence with the possibility of parole. He appeals, challenging the admission into evidence of his statement to the police, the 911 tape, and the damaged trailer door, as well as the sufficiency of the evidence. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we determine: (1) the trial court properly admitted Defendant’s statement into evidence where there was no requirement that it be recorded; (2) the trial court properly admitted the 911 tape into evidence as an excited utterance and to rebut Defendant’s assertion that shots were fired from inside the trailer; (3) the trial court properly admitted the trailer door into evidence where there was ample secondary evidence to support the conclusion that the shots were fired from outside the trailer; and (4) the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction for first degree murder. As a result, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

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