Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session Date September 16, 2014
Direct Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 99742 Steven Sword, Judge
Robert C. Edwards, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Andrew Oliver.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Ahmed A. Safeeullah, Assistant Attorney General; Randall Eugene Nichols, District Attorney General; and Kyle Hixson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roger A. Page, and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.
NORMA McGEE OGLE, JUDGE
I. Factual Background
In June 2012, the Knox County Grand Jury indicted the appellant for one count of rape of a child. The appellant proceeded to trial in June 2013.
The appellant does not contest the sufficiency of the evidence. Taken in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence shows that in October 2011, the victim's aunt and a female cousin were living in a small house on Boone Street in Knoxville. One night near Halloween, the then twelve-year-old victim spent the night there. The appellant, who was dating the victim's cousin, also spent the night. The victim slept on the living room couch but woke to discover the appellant staring at her. The appellant forced himself on the victim, penetrated her vagina with his penis, and ejaculated. About one year later, the victim revealed the incident to a counselor and was interviewed at Childhelp. As a result of the Childhelp interview, officers with the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) began investigating the victim's allegations and interviewed the appellant. During the appellant's interview, he admitted knowing the victim and spending the night at the home on Boone Street while the victim was there. The officers suggested to the appellant that the victim became pregnant and had a baby, which was not true. The appellant told the officers that he forced the victim to have sex with him, that she tried to fight him off, and that he ejaculated. After the interview, the appellant wrote a letter to the victim in which he apologized for hurting her. He also wrote that, if she had a baby, he wanted a DNA test to determine if he was the father and wanted to see the baby.
The jury convicted the appellant as charged of rape of a child, a Class A felony. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced him to twenty-five years in confinement to be served at 100%.
A. Motion to Suppress
The appellant contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his confession to police because he invoked his right to counsel prior to his interview. The State argues that the trial court properly denied the motion. We agree with the State.
Before trial, defense counsel filed a motion to suppress the appellant's statement to the Knoxville police officers on the basis that the appellant requested an attorney prior to his interview. At a hearing on the motion, Investigator Jeff Damewood of the KPD testified for the State that he began investigating the victim's allegations and learned the appellant's name. One morning during Memorial Day weekend of 2012, Investigator Damewood went to the appellant's parents' home and talked with the appellant at the front door. He told the appellant that the appellant's "name had come up in an investigation" and said that he "needed to speak with" the appellant. ...