STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEROME MAURICE TEATS - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 14, 2015

Head Comment: With a concurring opinion and a dissenting opinion.

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Patrick T. McNally, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerome Maurice Teats.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Joseph F. Whalen, Acting Solicitor General; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Torry Johnson, District Attorney General; and Rachel Sobrero and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): LEE

We granted review in this case to determine whether a trial judge is required to give a jury instruction based on our decision in State v. White, 362 S.W.3d 559 (Tenn. 2012), when a defendant is tried on charges of kidnapping and robbery of different victims. The defendant and an accomplice forced their way into the back door of a restaurant, threatened the employees at gunpoint, and ordered them into a back storage area. While the accomplice guarded these employees, the defendant forced the restaurant manager to take him to the cash drawer, where he took the restaurant?s money. The defendant was indicted for aggravated robbery of the store manager and four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping of the other four employees. A jury convicted the defendant of all charges. On appeal, the defendant asserted that the trial judge?s failure to give the White jury instruction was reversible error. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions. We hold that a White jury instruction is not required when a defendant is charged with the offenses of kidnapping and robbery of different victims.