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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 28, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Chase T. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Defendant, DeMarkus Montreal Taylor.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, District Attorney General; Kimberly S. Lund and Daniel Stephenson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): THOMAS

The Defendant, DeMarkus Montreal Taylor, appeals as of right from his conviction of first degree murder in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate aggravated child abuse, two counts aggravated child abuse, and one count of filing a false report. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-202(a)(2); -15-402; -16-502. On appeal, the Defendant contends (1) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction, arguing that the evidence presented to the jury was predominately circumstantial and that there was no direct proof that the Defendant committed the offenses for which he was charged; (2) that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted autopsy photographs of the victim, specifically photographs of the victim’s brain and eyes; (3) that the trial court erred when it denied the Defendant’s motion for a new trial after counsel for the co-defendant attempted to introduce testimony regarding the Defendant’s prior drug sales; and (4) that the trial court erred in admitting the victim’s autopsy report, which contained un-redacted information regarding prior physical abuse. Following our review, we affirm the Defendant’s convictions for first degree felony murder, aggravated child abuse, and false reporting.