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State v. Bowes

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 29, 2015

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
DEBORAH B. BOWES

Assigned on Briefs February 19, 2015

Direct Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County No. S61793 R. Jerry Beck, Judge

Suzanne S. Queen, Bristol, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deborah B. Bowes.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Senior Counsel; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; and Teresa A. Nelson and Josh D. Parsons, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

OPINION

NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE

I. Factual Background

On March 6, 2013, a Sullivan County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging the appellant with one count of filing a false report, a Class D felony. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-502. On March 7, 2014, the appellant entered a guilty plea to the charged offense. At the plea hearing, the State recited the following factual basis underlying the appellant's plea:

[O]n 8-5-2012[, ] officers of the Kingsport Police Department responded to America's Best Inn at 9980 Airport Parkway, which is a location in Sullivan County, Tennessee, in reference to a disturbance.
Upon arrival[, ] Officers Clare and Adams spoke with the [appellant], Deborah Bowes. [The appellant] advised them that her boyfriend, a gentleman by the name of Terry Tabor . . ., had assaulted her by hitting her in the face and throwing her around the room. During the conversation in which [the appellant] gave information to the officers, she stated that the two had been drinking. That Mr. Tabor had choked her at least three times; had torn the clothes that she was wearing; and attempted to take her sexually, but she was able to fight him off. [The appellant] did present with a scratch on her face, but that occurred at a separate location, not . . . associated with this case.
Then ultimately, based on the written statement that [the appellant] gave to the officers regarding the facts and details, Mr. Tabor was arrested for aggravated domestic assault, false imprisonment, and attempted sexual assault, and was arrested that evening.
Later on, on October 3rd, 2012, in the Bristol General Sessions Court for the case associated with this, [the appellant], . . . identified as the victim in that particular case, stated under oath that the assault had never occurred. And at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing[, ] Assistant District Attorney Kaylin Render advised the officers as such, and she was charged with filing a false report at that time.

The appellant agreed primarily with the facts recited by the State but stated that her testimony was that "she didn't remember and she didn't think [the assault] happened, " not that it never occurred. Nevertheless, she acknowledged that "a reasonable trier of fact could find [her] guilty by the use of the beyond a reasonable doubt standard."

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the appellant was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to an eight-year sentence. The plea agreement further provided that the trial court ...


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