STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA R. STARNER AND CAITLYN METZ - Articles

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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Apr 20, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Sherri Phillips (at trial) and Gregory D. Smith (on appeal), Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joshua R. Starner.

Attorneys 2:

Edward DeWerff (at trial) Clarksville, Tennessee, and Patrick T. McNally (on appeal), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant Caitlyn Metz. Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Senior Counsel; John W. Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Robert Nash, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WEDEMEYER

A Montgomery County jury convicted Defendant Joshua R. Starner of aggravated child abuse, first-degree felony murder committed during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, first-degree felony murder committed during the perpetration of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated sexual battery. The jury convicted Defendant Caitlyn Metz of aggravated child abuse, first-degree felony murder committed during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, first-degree felony murder committed during the perpetration of aggravated child neglect, and facilitation of aggravated sexual battery. The trial court dismissed both Defendants’ sexual battery convictions and merged the felony murder convictions. The trial court sentenced Defendant Starner to life in prison for the felony murder conviction and fifteen years for each of the remaining two convictions, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. The trial court ordered that Defendant Starner’s fifteen year sentences run concurrently with each other but consecutively to his life sentence. The trial court sentenced Defendant Metz to the same sentences but ordered that all her sentences run concurrently. On appeal, Defendant Starner contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions and that the trial court erred when it ordered partial consecutive sentencing. Defendant Metz contends that the trial court erred when it denied her motion for severance and that the evidence is insufficient to sustain her convictions. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

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