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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 16, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender; and Emma Rae Tennent (on appeal), Jonathan F. Wing (at trial), and Andrew Ross (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders for the Appellant, Timothy Andrew Bishop.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren and Tali Rosenblum, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The Defendant, Timothy Andrew Bishop, appeals his convictions for two counts of child abuse, a Class D felony. The Defendant challenges the trial court's admission of lay opinion testimony from a detective regarding the victim's bruises, the prosecutor's statements during closing argument, and the admission of a hearsay statement under the then existing state of mind exception. He also asserts on appeal that the trial court erred in admitting, under the excited utterance exception to the rule against hearsay, the victim's statements at school that the Defendant was responsible for his bruises. After a thorough review, we conclude that the hearsay statements admitted as excited utterances were admitted in error and that the error was not harmless. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for a new trial.