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Posted by: Landry Butler on May 25, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Amanda B. Dunn (on appeal); Kevin L. Loper and Jeffrey S. Schaarschmidt (at trial), Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nathan Bernard Lalone.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General; and Brian Finlay and Kristin Spires, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): EASTER

Defendant, Nathan Bernard Lalone, was convicted of one count of first degree murder and one count of attempted first degree murder. He raises the following issues on appeal: (1) the trial court erred in denying a motion to suppress his statement to police because he had invoked his right to remain silent; (2) the trial court erred in denying a motion for leave to file an interlocutory appeal of the suppression issue; (3) the trial court erred in denying a motion for judgment of acquittal and motion for new trial because the accomplice testimony was not sufficiently corroborated; (4) the trial court erred in allowing the State to play a videotaped interview of a witness as a prior inconsistent statement; and (5) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Upon our review of the record and applicable authorities, we conclude that the trial court erred in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress and that the error was not harmless. Furthermore, we conclude that the trial court committed plain error in admitting a witness’s recorded statement into evidence without following the Rules of Evidence with regard to prior inconsistent statements. For these two reasons, we reverse Defendant’s convictions and remand the case for a new trial.