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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 25, 2015

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Stephen Ross Johnson, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terrence Justin Feaster.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leslie Nassios and Federico Flores, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WADE

The defendant was convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment. After determining that the separate convictions for attempted voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault did not violate double jeopardy, the trial court imposed consecutive sentences totaling twenty-six years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days. A divided panel of the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed, finding no double jeopardy violation. This Court granted the defendant?s application for permission to appeal to determine whether due process safeguards prohibit the retroactive application of the double jeopardy standard adopted in State v. Watkins, 362 S.W.3d 530 (Tenn. 2012), which was decided after the date of his offenses. The defendant argues that the former double jeopardy standard set out in State v. Denton, 938 S.W.2d 373 (Tenn. 1996), should apply. Because our ruling in Watkins cannot be classified as “unexpected” or “indefensible” by reference to prior law, due process does not preclude its retroactive application. The judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed.