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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Aug 10, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James G. Thomas, Chandra N.T. Flint, and L. Wells Trompeter (on appeal), Nashville, Tennessee; and B.F. (Jack) Lowery and Jack D. Lowery (at trial), Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deborah Wen Yee Mark.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and Thomas Harwell Swink and Jason Lee Lawson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): PAGE

Appellant, Deborah Wen Yee Mark, was convicted of one count of first degree murder during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and four counts of child abuse. The trial court sentenced appellant to life for the murder conviction, twenty years at 100% release eligibility for each of the aggravated child abuse convictions, and three years as a Range I, standard offender for each of the child abuse convictions. The trial court aligned each of the aggravated child abuse sentences consecutively to each other and consecutively to the life sentence. The child abuse sentences were aligned consecutively to the life sentence but concurrently with each other and with the aggravated child abuse sentences for an effective sentence of life plus eighty years. Following her unsuccessful motion for a new trial, appellant raises the following issues on appeal: (1) whether appellant was in custody during her questioning, triggering Miranda requirements; (2) whether her statement was coerced and involuntary; (3) whether the trial court erred in admitting the victim’s adoption video; (4) whether the evidence is sufficient to support appellant’s aggravated child abuse conviction in Count III of the indictment vis-a`-vis the finding of “serious bodily injury” based on the loss of four primary teeth; and (5) whether the trial court erred in aligning appellant’s aggravated child abuse sentences consecutively. Following our extensive review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court, but clerical errors in the judgment forms require remand for correction as detailed fully below.