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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 1, 2018

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Matthew F. Stowe, District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Benjamin S. Dempsey, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Roy Lee Ellis.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

The Carroll County Grand Jury issued a five-count indictment in Case No. 2015-CR-8, charging Roy Lee Ellis (“the Defendant”) with especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, aggravated assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft of services. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was found guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia but was acquitted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, and aggravated assault of A.H., an adult female. The theft of services count was not presented to the jury. Based on video images captured from one of the Defendant’s cellular phones during the police investigation into Case No. 2015-CR-8, the State also obtained an indictment of the Defendant for two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in Case No. 2016-CR-87. The Defendant filed a “Motion to Quash Indictment Because [o]f Misjoinder and/or Double Jeopardy” (“the Motion”). Following a hearing on the motion, the trial court found that the State violated the mandatory joinder requirement of Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a) and dismissed the indictment, and the State appealed. Because the two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor were not “based on the same conduct” nor did they “arise from the same criminal episode” as the offenses for which the Defendant was tried, we reverse the trial court, reinstate the indictment in Case No. 2016-CR-87, and remand for further proceedings.