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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Nov 20, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joel W. Crim, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Daniel Simmons.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Matthew Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Kristin Menke and Nathan McGregor, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

John Daniel Simmons (“the Defendant”) was indicted with two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure after he was alleged to have engaged in illegal sexual touching of K.L.1 Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted as charged. On appeal, the Defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred when it permitted the State to call Daniel Burnell and Tony Pham as witnesses because the State did not give sufficient notice of its intent to call them as witnesses; (2) the trial court erred when it permitted David Estes to testify about hearsay statements made by Dewanna Williams; and (3) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions. Upon review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that the trial court committed reversible error when it permitted Mr. Pham to testify after allowing the Defendant only a few minutes in the middle of trial to speak with him. Additionally, we conclude that the trial court committed reversible error when it admitted hearsay within hearsay during Mr. Estes?s testimony. We reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.