Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session Date: March 24, 2015
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 286119 Rebecca J. Stern, Judge
Lee Davis, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy D. Parvin.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Counsel; William H. Cox, District Attorney General; and Brian Finlay, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John Everett Williams, and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.
ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE
The Defendant was indicted for two counts of domestic assault and one count of resisting arrest. The two assault counts were dismissed by the State before trial. The Defendant waived his right to a trial by jury. Following a bench trial, the trial court found him guilty of Class B misdemeanor resisting arrest and sentenced him to 6 months, suspended to unsupervised probation. The Defendant's "Motion for Reconsideration or in the Alternative Motion for New Trial" was denied, and this timely appeal followed.
Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) Officer David Campbell was dispatched to the home of the Defendant and his wife on a complaint of domestic assault. The Defendant's wife answered the door. She was "hysterical" and claimed the Defendant was drunk and had attacked her. Officer Campbell observed redness on her upper chest, neck, forearms, and upper arms. Officer Campbell entered the residence and saw the Defendant, who was shirtless and had scratches on him. As he got closer to the man, Officer Campbell smelled alcohol and said the Defendant appeared drunk. The Defendant said, "She needs to go."
Because both parties had visible marks on them, Officer Campbell concluded an assault had occurred. In domestic situations, CPD policy calls for the parties to be separated. Officer Campbell also stated that he was concerned because he was the only officer on the scene, there were two people who had been involved in the altercation in the home, and there could be firearms in the residence. In an effort to separate the Defendant and his wife and conduct an investigation to determine who was the primary aggressor, Officer Campbell asked the Defendant to step outside on the front porch. The Defendant refused to go outside. Officer Campbell again asked the Defendant to step outside so he could talk to him about what had happened. The Defendant again refused. After the Defendant refused to step outside a third time, Officer Campbell told the Defendant that he was going to detain him until he could complete his investigation and instructed him to turn around so that he could be handcuffed. The Defendant refused and told Officer Campbell that if he wanted him out of his house or wanted to handcuff him, then he would need a warrant. Officer Campbell repeated his demand that the Defendant place his hands behind his back, and the Defendant again refused. Officer Campbell reached for the Defendant's wrist, and the Defendant pulled away and "balled up his fist as if to attack [Officer Campbell]." Officer Campbell grabbed the Defendant's other wrist and took him to the ground. The Defendant locked his hands beneath him and refused to surrender his hands to be cuffed. Officer Campbell sprayed police grade oleoresin onto the Defendant's face and was then able to handcuff one wrist.
Shortly before Officer Campbell took the Defendant to the ground, CPD Officer Kevin Orsburn arrived at the scene. He was met outside by a young boy who said his stepfather was hurting his mother. Officer Orsburn heard Officer Campbell order someone to get on the ground. He ran inside where he found Officer Campbell struggling to handcuff the Defendant. Officer Orsburn assisted Officer Campbell in handcuffing the Defendant. Officer Campbell arrested the Defendant for resisting arrest, domestic assault of his wife, and domestic assault of his step-son.
On cross-examination, Officer Campbell was asked what "lawful authority" he was following when he asked the Defendant to go outside. Officer Campbell stated: "So, I believe actually that would be obstruction of the legal process as I was trying to conduct an investigation and he was not complying with my investigation. However, I did not charge him with such." Officer Campbell also stated that, at the time he asked the Defendant to go outside, he did not have probable cause to place him under arrest for domestic assault.
The Defendant argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction for resisting arrest. The State argues that there was sufficient evidence for any rational trier of fact to convict ...