Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals
David Von Wiegandt (on appeal) and Leah Wilson (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charvaris Donte Newsom.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; T. Austin Watkins, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Chandler Harris and J. Wesley King, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Charvaris Donte Newsom, was convicted of felony murder, second degree murder, and especially aggravated robbery. The trial court merged the second degree murder conviction into the felony murder conviction and imposed an effective sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, the Defendant challenges (1) the sufficiency of the evidence; (2) the admission of evidence of his other criminal acts; (3) the admission of hearsay evidence from a police report; (4) the prosecutor’s questioning of a detective and the Defendant regarding whether they believed witnesses were truthful; (5) the prosecutor’s questioning the Defendant regarding his invocation of his right to remain silent and his failure to produce evidence and witnesses at trial; and (6) the prosecutor’s comments during opening statements and closing arguments. The Defendant also seeks relief based upon cumulative error. Upon reviewing the record, the parties’ briefs and oral arguments, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.