STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LAJAUN HARBISON - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Aug 19, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., (on appeal), and A. Philip Lomonaco (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lajuan Harbison.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and TaKisha M. Fitzgerald and Philip H. Morton, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): THOMAS

The Defendant, Lajuan Harbison, stands convicted by a Knox County jury of four counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and four counts of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, for which the trial court sentenced him to an effective term of twenty-two years' incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant argues (1) that the trial court erred by refusing to grant his motion for a severance; (2) that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions, including therein a double jeopardy challenge to his employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony convictions, and (3) that consecutive sentencing was improper. Following our review, we first conclude that a severance of defendants should have been granted and that the failure to do so constitutes reversible error. We also conclude that the evidence was insufficient to support one of the Defendant's convictions for attempted voluntary manslaughter because the doctrine of transferred intent is inapplicable to such a conviction, and therefore, the corresponding count of employing a firearm during the commission of said dangerous felony likewise cannot stand. Additionally, multiple convictions for employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony violate double jeopardy principles because the statute does not authorize separate firearms convictions for each felony committed in a single transaction. Accordingly, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.

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