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State v. Davidson

Supreme Court of Tennessee, Knoxville

December 19, 2016


         Session: January 27, 2016

         Automatic Appeal from the Court of Criminal Appeals Criminal Court for Knox County No. 86216B Walter C. Kurtz, Senior Judge[1]

         A jury imposed two sentences of death on the defendant after convicting him of multiple counts of first degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, and facilitation of aggravated rape. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and sentences. State v. Davidson, No. E2013-00394-CCA-R3-DD, 2015 WL 1087126, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 10, 2015). We have carefully considered the defendant's claims of error and conducted the review mandated by Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206. We hold that the trial court did not err by admitting evidence obtained during searches of the defendant's house and of his person; the trial court did not err by admitting the defendant's statement to law enforcement officers; the trial court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the victims' family members to wear buttons containing images of the victims; the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting into evidence post-mortem photographs of the victims; the trial court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the jury to view the defendant's video recorded statement in the courtroom during deliberations; the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting expert testimony regarding ballistics and fingerprint evidence; the defendant's convictions were supported by sufficient evidence; and the trial court properly effectuated merger of the convictions. We affirm the Court of Criminal Appeals on the remaining issues and include relevant portions of its opinion in the appendix. We hold the sentences of death were not imposed in an arbitrary fashion; the evidence fully supports the jury's findings of aggravating circumstances in Tennessee Code Annotated sections 39-13-204(i)(5), (6), (7), and (13); the evidence supports the jury's finding that these aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances presented by the defendant; and the defendant's death sentences are neither excessive nor disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases. We affirm the defendant's convictions and sentences of death and vacate the Court of Criminal Appeals' remand to the trial court for correction of the judgment documents.

         Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-206(a)(1) Automatic Appeal; Judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals Affirmed in Part and Vacated in Part

          David M. Eldridge, Douglas A. Trant, Loretta G. Cravens, and Troy S. Weston, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lemaricus Devall Davidson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leland Price and TaKisha Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Sharon G. Lee, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Jeffrey S. Bivins, C.J., and Cornelia A. Clark and Holly Kirby, JJ., joined.




         Events of January 6-10, 2007

         This case arises from the January 2007 kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville, Tennessee. On Saturday, January 6, 2007, Channon and Chris planned to have dinner together and then spend the evening at a party at a friend's home in the Halls community. Saturday afternoon, Channon went to her friend Kara Sowards's apartment at the Washington Ridge Apartments to get ready for the party. Around 8:00 p.m., Ms. Sowards went to the party, and Channon stayed behind waiting for Chris to arrive. At 8:47 p.m., Chris withdrew $100 from his bank account at an ATM machine in the Halls area. Around 9:00 p.m., Chris dropped off his friend, Josh Anderson, at the party, telling friends he and Channon were going out to eat and would join the party later. Ms. Sowards called Channon and told her Chris was on his way. It was about a ten-minute drive from the party to the Washington Ridge Apartments.

         Around 10:00 p.m., when Chris and Channon had not arrived at the party, their friends called and texted them but received no reply. Around 11:00 p.m., two of Chris's friends went to the Washington Ridge Apartments in search of him and discovered that his truck was in the parking lot and Channon's 2005 Toyota 4Runner was missing.

         Chris and Channon never arrived at the party. Their friends never saw or spoke to them again. Channon was last seen wearing jeans, hot pink high heels, and a navy blue, hot pink, and white striped sweater and carrying a gray purse. Chris was last seen wearing jeans, black and silver size 9½ Nike Shox athletic shoes, a blue sweater with a white collar, and a baseball cap. Sometime between 9:10 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., Chris and Channon were abducted from the parking lot of the Washington Ridge Apartments and taken in Channon's vehicle to the home of Lemaricus Devall Davidson at 2316 Chipman Street in Knoxville.

         On Sunday, January 7, around 12:30 a.m., Xavier Jenkins, an employee of Waste Connections on Chipman Street, arrived for work and waited in his car in the parking area outside the Waste Connections gated parking lot for a coworker to arrive. From where Mr. Jenkins was parked, he could see across the street to Mr. Davidson's house and noticed Channon's vehicle parked in front of it. The porch lights were on, and the house seemed to be "pretty busy" for that time of night. He had never seen Channon's vehicle before that evening. Mr. Jenkins briefly left to go to a nearby convenience store, and when he returned, he waited in his vehicle in the parking area across from Mr. Davidson's house. Around 12:50 a.m., he saw Channon's vehicle pull away from where it had been parked in front of Mr. Davidson's house and come in his direction. As the vehicle passed Mr. Jenkins, it slowed down, and he saw four African-American men in it. The driver, wearing a hoodie, looked at him "kind of strange" and "kind of mean-[mugged]" him.

         On Sunday at 12:33 a.m., Channon called her father and told him she had changed her mind and would not be spending the night at the party but would be home between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Cellular records indicate this call came from the Cherry Street area in the general vicinity of Mr. Davidson's house.

         On Sunday at 1:45 a.m., Jerome Arnold was watching television at his Chipman Street residence a block from Mr. Davidson's house when he heard "three fairly evenly spaced pops" coming from the direction of the train tracks.

         On Sunday around 3:30 a.m., Ms. Sowards returned from the party and noticed that Chris's truck was in the parking lot and Channon's vehicle was gone. Ms. Sowards's apartment door was locked, and Channon's overnight bag was missing.

         On Sunday at 6:30 a.m., when Mr. Jenkins returned to Waste Connections from running his route, he saw Channon's vehicle with an orange University of Tennessee "Power T" decal on the window parked facing the train tracks in front of Waste Connections on Chipman Street. The vehicle appeared to be out of place, and when Mr. Jenkins looked in the vehicle, he saw no one in it.

         On Sunday at 7:45 a.m., when Roy Thurman arrived for work at a sandblasting company in the Chipman Street area, he saw smoke rising from the direction of the train tracks.

         On Sunday morning and afternoon, Ms. Sowards and Channon's mother repeatedly called Channon's cell phone, but there was no answer. On Sunday afternoon, Channon's mother's fears were confirmed when the manager of the Shoe Department where Channon worked called to check on Channon because she had not reported to work. Channon's mother called local hospitals, Chris's family, and Channon's friends trying to find her. When Channon still could not be located, Channon's mother notified the Knox County Sheriff's Department and filed a missing persons report. Meanwhile, Chris's family was also worried about him. They called the police, checked with local hospitals and Chris's friends, and filed a missing persons report.

         On Sunday at 12:20 p.m., J.D. Ford, a Norfolk Southern Railroad employee, discovered Chris's severely burned body beside the train tracks not far from Mr. Davidson's house. Chris had been shot, his hands tied behind his back, his eyes covered with a bandana, a sock stuffed in his mouth, his head wrapped in a sweatshirt, and his bare feet bound together. The police were notified and responded to the scene.

         When Channon's family requested help from law enforcement, they were told that the authorities would not search for their missing daughter and they would have to do it themselves. And they did. The Christians contacted their cellular phone company and learned that Channon's phone had last pinged off the Cherry Street phone tower. On Sunday night, some of Channon's and Chris's family and friends went to the Cherry Street area and searched street by street. This was a part of town that Channon and Chris did not visit.

         Early Monday, January 8, between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., the search party discovered Channon's vehicle at the corner of Chipman and Glider Streets. An orange University of Tennessee "Power T" decal and a "NorthFace" sticker had been removed from the back window. The police were called and responded to the scene. Bags of clothing, including a pair of GLO jeans, which Channon had planned to donate to charity, were missing from the back of the vehicle. Channon's overnight bag and its contents were also missing. The front seats of the vehicle were pushed all the way back, and the backseat floorboard was caked with mud. A crumpled pack of Newport cigarettes was in the back of the vehicle. Neither Channon nor Chris smoked Newport cigarettes. The vehicle was photographed, inventoried, and taken to the police impound lot. Sandra Kileen Bible, who lived in the house at the corner of Chipman and Glider Streets, said she had not seen the vehicle there at midnight when she sat on the porch smoking a cigarette. She had never seen Channon's vehicle in the neighborhood before.

         Dan Crenshaw, senior evidence technician with the Knoxville Police Department forensic unit and a certified fingerprint examiner, went to the scene and processed the vehicle for fingerprints. The outside of the vehicle, however, appeared to have been wiped clean, and he could not get any prints.

         On Monday, January 8, at 11:00 p.m., when Mr. Crenshaw returned to work on the night shift, he retrieved a bank envelope from the back seat of the vehicle and began processing it.

         On Tuesday, January 9, at 2:45 a.m., Mr. Crenshaw determined that the fingerprint on the bank envelope matched Mr. Davidson's fingerprint. Mr. Crenshaw then discovered that Mr. Davidson's address was on Chipman Street, close to where Channon's vehicle and Chris's body were found. At 2:52 a.m., Mr. Crenshaw emailed Knoxville Police Department Investigator Todd Childress and others informing them he had confirmed Mr. Davidson's fingerprint on the envelope and his Chipman Street address. At 7:00 a.m., the fingerprint match was verified by Tim Schade, another Knoxville Police Department evidence technician. Mr. Crenshaw was certain that Mr. Davidson was involved in the disappearance of Channon. Between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., while waiting on the fingerprint verification, Mr. Crenshaw drove by Mr. Davidson's Chipman Street house hoping to see or hear something so he or someone else could take action. There were no signs of activity at the house.

         On Tuesday morning, after the fingerprint match to Mr. Davidson was verified, Investigator Childress began to search for information regarding Mr. Davidson and discovered, among other things, an outstanding attachment for his arrest for failure to appear in court. Investigator Childress prepared an affidavit for a search warrant for Mr. Davidson's house. Investigator Childress hurriedly printed the affidavit and did not realize that he had printed it on letter-sized paper instead of legal-sized paper. As a result, the signature line on the affidavit was cut off. Sometime between 10:30 a.m. and noon, Investigator Childress appeared before Knox County General Sessions Judge Tony Stansberry to request the issuance of a search warrant. Investigator Childress did not sign the affidavit but instead signed the search warrant on the line marked "Officer To Whom Warrant Is Delivered For Execution." Judge Stansberry reviewed the affidavit but did not notice that Investigator Childress had failed to sign it. Investigator Childress raised his hand and swore to the truth of the contents of the affidavit before Judge Stansberry. On Tuesday, January 9, at 12:53 p.m., Judge Stansberry signed the search warrant.

         At 1:39 p.m., officers entered Mr. Davidson's house to execute the search warrant. They quickly checked the house and found no one at home. At 1:42 p.m., Sergeant Keith DeBow entered the kitchen and noticed an oddly shaped thirty-two-gallon plastic garbage can. Fearing someone was hiding in the garbage can, he drew his weapon, lifted the lid, and saw an arm partially covered with fabric. When he touched the arm, he knew he had discovered a dead body.

         At 2:04 p.m., Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, Knox County's Medical Examiner, arrived to supervise the removal of Channon's body. At approximately 3:10 p.m., the garbage can, with Channon's body still inside, wrapped in a tarp, and secured with plastic tie wires, was removed from the house. Officers discovered Channon's personalized iPod on top of a container in Mr. Davidson's bedroom. At 3:30 p.m., the officers left the house after Investigator Childress told them to "[h]old what you're doing" because the Knox County District Attorney General's Office had advised him that they were to secure the location and leave the scene. Everyone left except for several officers who stayed outside the home to ensure that no one entered the residence.

         Investigator Childress prepared a second affidavit for a search warrant with additional information, including that Channon's body was found in Mr. Davidson's house. He signed the affidavit and presented it to Knox County General Sessions Court Judge Chuck Cerny. At 7:25 p.m., Judge Cerny issued the second warrant. At 7:55 p.m., the officers reentered Mr. Davidson's residence and collected evidence until about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The search of the house produced numerous items that belonged to the victims, including clothing Channon had in her vehicle, photographs she kept in her vehicle, the gray purse she carried on Saturday night, her pink high heels, her iPod with the inscription "Channon Christian, Mom and Dad, we love you, " two of Chris's baseball caps including the one he was last seen wearing, Channon's camera, Chris's driver's license, a pay stub from Channon's work, Channon's mother's Blockbuster card, a CD, and Channon's personal toiletry items.

         Mr. Davidson's Whereabouts January 6-11, 2007

         As of January 6, 2007, Mr. Davidson was twenty-five years old and a convicted felon. He had no job and no vehicle. He supported himself by selling drugs. He snorted cocaine and smoked marijuana. He lived in a rental house at 2316 Chipman Street and had not paid the January rent. He owed money to Ethel Lynn Freeman for furniture he bought from her. His relationship with his girlfriend, Daphne Sutton, had soured. The day after Christmas 2006, Ms. Sutton moved her furniture out of the Chipman Street house.

         In December 2006, Stacey Lawson of Lebanon, Kentucky, brought her boyfriend, George Thomas, Mr. Davidson's half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, and his friend, Vanessa Coleman, from Kentucky to live with Mr. Davidson. None of them had vehicles or jobs. Ms. Lawson recalled seeing an assault rifle and two revolvers-a black one and a silver one-at Mr. Davidson's house. Ms. Lawson had seen Mr. Thomas, Mr. Cobbins, and Ms. Coleman smoke Newport cigarettes.

         Ms. Sutton occasionally returned to Mr. Davidson's house. On Friday, January 5, 2007, Ms. Sutton and Mr. Davidson argued. Ms. Sutton then walked to a gas station on Cherry Street and called her friend, Kassie Suttles, for a ride. Ms. Sutton's vehicle was not operable, and she left it parked on Chipman Street near Mr. Davidson's house. Ms. Suttles picked up Ms. Sutton and took her to the apartment that Ms. Suttles shared with Brandi Pressley.

         Mr. Davidson met Ms. Freeman through a mutual friend. In December 2006, Mr. Davidson, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Cobbins helped her move into her apartment at the Washington Ridge Apartments. Ms. Freeman gave Mr. Davidson a comforter, some bedding, pillow shams, and curtains and sold him some used furniture. He agreed to pay her between $75 and $100 every two weeks for the furniture. Mr. Davidson promised Ms. Freeman he would bring her a payment on Saturday night, January 6. She expected him to be at her Washington Ridge apartment between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., but he never arrived. Ms. Freeman fell asleep, and when she woke up, she called Mr. Davidson on his cell phone. Phone records indicate she called him on Sunday at 3:51 a.m. She said he did not sound like himself; he sounded flustered and busy, his voice was different, and he seemed like he was doing something at a high pace. Mr. Davidson told her he did not come by because he had "got busy."

         On Sunday, January 7, at 2:10 a.m., a call was placed from Chris's cell phone to Jason Mynatt. Mr. Mynatt did not know Mr. Davidson or any of his friends and frequently got wrong numbers on his cell phone. Mr. Mynatt's number was 865-237-4625. The phone number of Ms. Sutton's friend, Taylor Shadix, was 865-237-7625. Mr. Davidson repeatedly called Ms. Sutton's friend, Kayla Troutt, beginning around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. She did not take his calls during the night but spoke with him by phone between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Mr. Davidson was calling Ms. Troutt to try and reach Ms. Sutton because he had some clothes for her.

         James Mitchell, who worked for Mr. Davidson's landlord, went to Mr. Davidson's house in early January on a Saturday to collect the rent. He spoke with Mr. Davidson, who told him to come back in a few days. When Mr. Mitchell returned a few days later, the police had the house taped off.

         Darin Williams was one of Mr. Davidson's drug customers. One weekend after dark in January 2007, Mr. Williams was driving to Mr. Davidson's house to buy cocaine. While at a stop sign on Chipman Street, Mr. Williams saw an oncoming vehicle. The driver, who he later identified as Mr. Davidson, was blowing the horn, but Mr. Williams did not recognize the vehicle and kept going. By the time he got to Mr. Davidson's house, the vehicle had circled around the block and stopped. Mr. Davidson, who was driving Channon's vehicle, got out of the vehicle, along with two other men. The two passengers, wearing black hoodies with the hoods pulled up, stood on each side of the vehicle. Mr. Davidson told Mr. Williams that he did not have any drugs for him. Mr. Williams went back, maybe the next afternoon, and Mr. Davidson came out of the house and asked him if he had seen the helicopters flying over that way and said, "[T]hey found a woman's body over here on the railroad tracks." On this second trip to Mr. Davidson's house, Mr. Williams saw Channon's vehicle parked in the parking area across the street from Mr. Davidson's house. Mr. Davidson told Mr. Williams he had bought the vehicle for $2, 500. Mr. Williams knew that could not be true based on the value of the vehicle.

         On Sunday around noon, Ms. Freeman drove to Mr. Davidson's house and parked in front of it. As she was getting out of her car, a neighbor, Rhonda Dukes, motioned her to come down the street and visit with her. After Ms. Freeman finished visiting with Ms. Dukes, she saw Mr. Thomas walk by in a dark hoodie. She left without seeing Mr. Davidson. She had to go home a different route because the road was closed due to the discovery of a burned body near the train tracks. Mr. Davidson called her after she returned home and said he had seen her at Ms. Dukes's house and planned to come down there, but Ms. Freeman had left before he could do so. He promised to come to her house around 3:00 p.m. to pay her for the furniture. He did not go to Ms. Freeman's residence to pay her and did not answer her telephone calls.

         On Sunday, Ms. Sutton learned from friends that Mr. Davidson was trying to reach her. She talked to him on the phone a few times that day. Later Sunday evening, he told her he had some clothes for her. He asked her to come to his house and get the clothes but to wait thirty minutes before she came. Suspecting that Mr. Davidson had another woman in the house, Ms. Sutton and her friends immediately went to Mr. Davidson's house. When she arrived about five minutes after their phone conversation, Mr. Davidson was standing at the front door. She entered the house and saw Mr. Cobbins sitting in a chair next to the kitchen door and Mr. Thomas sitting in a chair in the living room. Ms. Sutton wanted to retrieve her makeup bag from the bathroom. She walked through the front bedroom to the bathroom, but the bathroom door was closed. Mr. Davidson told her that Ms. Coleman was in the bathroom. When Ms. Sutton tried to get to the bathroom by entering the kitchen, Mr. Davidson grabbed her and said, "What are you doing? This is my house." He walked her to the front door and handed her a Sears bag filled with clothes and tried to give her some money. She refused the money but took the bag of clothes. After Ms. Sutton returned to Ms. Suttles's apartment, she looked at the clothes and realized they were not new. She then called Mr. Davidson, and he explained he had bought the clothes at a used clothing store and thought she would like them. The bag contained items that included a red skirt, a pink blouse, a pair of GLO jeans, and a ring. Ms. Sutton gave the GLO jeans to Ms. Suttles and told Mr. Davidson to come and get the rest of the clothes. When Mr. Davidson arrived at the apartment to retrieve the bag of clothes, he was driving Channon's vehicle, which had a Tennessee decal and a NorthFace sticker on the back window.

         Late Sunday night or early Monday morning, Mr. Davidson called Ms. Sutton and asked her to come and get him. He claimed that he could not get into his house because it was locked and his brother had the keys. Ms. Sutton drove a friend's vehicle to pick up Mr. Davidson, who was waiting in Ms. Sutton's car that was parked on Chipman Street. They returned to Ms. Suttles's apartment and spent the night.

         On Monday morning, Ms. Freeman returned to Mr. Davidson's house to collect her money. She decided not to leave him a note because the house looked vacant, the windows were "down, " and it looked like a "ghost house." When she saw police officers down the street with flashlights, she knew something was going on and left.

         Ms. Sutton and Mr. Davidson stayed together at Ms. Suttles's apartment on Sunday night and Monday night. On Tuesday afternoon, they were awakened by a call from Ms. Sutton's mother who told Ms. Sutton that a girl's body had been found in Mr. Davidson's house. When Mr. Davidson overheard this news, his eyes got really big, and he begged Ms. Sutton to believe that he did not do anything and "that it was on all his fam . . . his brother." Ms. Sutton told him he would have to leave, and he asked her if he could wait until after dark. After the phone call, Ms. Sutton found his house keys and a black revolver in his jacket pocket. Mr. Davidson was wearing a pair of black and silver Nike Shox athletic shoes that appeared to be too small for him. When she questioned him, he claimed he had bought the shoes. Ms. Sutton dropped him off beside Ridgebrook Apartments, close to Reynolds Avenue.

         Mr. Davidson's Arrest and Statement to Police

         On Thursday afternoon, January 11, 2007, the Knoxville Police Department Special Operations Team and other officers arrested Mr. Davidson in a vacant house at 1800 Reynolds Avenue. Among the items found in the house were Chris's size 9½ Nike Shox athletic shoes and a .22 caliber High Standard revolver.

         Mr. Davidson was questioned by Tennessee Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agent Forrest Webb and Knoxville Police Department Investigator Ryan Flores. Before the interview, Mr. Davidson was advised of his Miranda rights, and he signed a waiver of rights form. During questioning, Mr. Davidson told more than five versions of what occurred January 6-8. First, he claimed he left his house on Friday and knew nothing about what may have happened there. Next, he said Mr. Cobbins showed up at his house with Channon's vehicle, but Mr. Davidson did not see the victims. Mr. Davidson drove Channon's vehicle while making his drug deliveries. When he learned about the body found beside the train tracks, he went back and wiped the vehicle down to remove his fingerprints. As he returned to the house, Ms. Dukes called and said that the police were down at the end of the street, so he walked down the street to her house and sat on the porch until Ms. Sutton picked him up. He claimed all of this happened on Sunday night.

         His next version of the story was that he was at home all day on Saturday and around 5:00 p.m. started selling drugs from his house. He went to bed and woke up Sunday around 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m., when Ms. Sutton called to tell him about a dead body found near the train tracks. He had her come pick him up, but before she did, he wiped down Channon's vehicle. He stayed at Ms. Sutton's house on Monday and Tuesday. He said that he did not know Chris or Channon. He claimed that Mr. Cobbins indicated to him that Mr. Thomas killed Chris.

         Next, he said Mr. Cobbins and Mr. Thomas had taken Chris and Channon from some apartments and brought them back to his house. They took Chris's wallet and his money. Then Mr. Davidson said that around 10:00 p.m. on Friday or Saturday night, Mr. Cobbins and Mr. Thomas arrived at Mr. Davidson's house saying they had carjacked some people and they were in the vehicle. Mr. Davidson saw Chris and Channon tied up in the back seat. Mr. Davidson did not want to be part of it, so he left and walked down the street and smoked some marijuana. When he returned about twenty minutes later, Channon was in his house. Channon told Mr. Davidson "she ain't want to die." Mr. Davidson said Chris was never in his house. Then Mr. Davidson added that after arriving with Chris and Channon, Mr. Cobbins and Mr. Thomas left for less than twenty minutes and returned with only Channon. When Channon came into Mr. Davidson's house, she was wearing a hoodie and her eyes were not covered. Mr. Davidson became concerned that she had seen him, so he left in her vehicle to sell some drugs. When Mr. Davidson returned, he parked the vehicle down the street, wiped it clean, and went into his house. He did not go beyond the living room and did not see Channon. Finally, he admitted that he saw Channon sitting on a bed in his house and she told him she did not want to die. Mr. Davidson denied having sex with her and did not know if anyone had sex with her. He said his DNA would not be found on her.

         On January 11, 2007, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Cobbins, and Ms. Coleman were arrested at Natosha Hays's house in Lebanon, Kentucky. During the search of Ms. Hays's residence, the officers seized a computer on which Mr. Thomas and Mr. Cobbins had been viewing the Knoxville news coverage of the homicides and found a red purse that contained documents and other items belonging to Channon. Later, a .22 caliber Clerke revolver was recovered from Ms. Hays's house.

         Forensic and Scientific Evidence

         Dr. Mileusnic-Polchan performed autopsies on Chris's and Channon's bodies and determined the injuries they suffered and the causes of their deaths. Neither Chris nor Channon had any defensive wounds. Their stomachs were empty; neither had eaten any food in the hours before their deaths.

         Chris was anally penetrated one to two hours before he died. He had significant injuries to his anal/genital area with lacerations, tearing, and bruising around his anus. Chris was shot three times, each time with a small caliber bullet. One bullet was shot from at least two to three feet away and entered his body in the neck area between the back of the neck and the shoulder. The second shot was to his lower back, and the bullet traveled steeply upward, indicating he was bent over when the weapon was fired. This shot severely damaged Chris's spinal cord. The fatal shot was fired with the muzzle of the gun against his head above his right ear, severing his brain stem and causing instantaneous death. All three bullets were still lodged in Chris's body when it was found.

         Chris had a hematoma on his right forehead, indicating that he was struck with an object or fell and hit his head on the ground, possibly when he was shot while bending over. When the fatal shot was fired, Chris's head was wrapped in a gray hooded sweatshirt, a blue bandana was tied around his eyes, and an ankle sock was rolled up, stuffed in his mouth, and secured with a shoelace. His leather belt and some floral fabric were wrapped around his ankles, securing them together. Some plant material was found in the bindings. His wrists were tied together behind his back with a shoelace and some nylon. He had on a shirt, a t-shirt, underwear, and no other clothing. His feet were bare and muddy, indicating that he had walked barefoot to the area where he was killed. He was placed on his back, a comforter was wrapped around his body, an accelerant was poured over him, and he was set on fire. His face, head, and upper body were burned the worst. Chris's anus had semen in it, but the high temperature of the fire destroyed the DNA in the semen. Soil samples taken where Chris's body was found indicated the presence of gasoline. A gasoline can was found in the kitchen of Mr. Davidson's house.

         Channon's frenulum, the membrane that connects the lip to the gum, was torn. She had bruising and abrasions around her mouth. These injuries occurred hours before her death and were caused by an object, such as a penis, being forced into her mouth. One to two hours before Channon's death, her anal/genital area suffered tremendous damage. Her vaginal area had bruises, lacerations, contusions, and swelling, and a solid blood clot had formed under the entire area. The depth and extent of her injury was so grave, it was not caused by a "regular" rape but caused by a blunt object coming in contact with her genital area with sufficient force to inflict serious injury. She had bruises on the backs of both arms, bruising on both sides of the top of her head with extensive hemorrhaging, bruises on the front of her legs, deep bruising to her upper back close to her neck, and carpet burns and scratches to her lower back and upper buttocks. She also had a cut to her right hand that occurred around the time of death.

         Channon had been forced into a tight fetal position and then bound with her head, neck, and shoulder twisted and pressed against her bent knees. Her left cheek had been pressed tightly against her knee. A portion of a sheer curtain had been tied around her ankles and wrapped around her neck. A floral fabric, like the one used to bind Chris, had been tied around her thighs, bringing them tightly against her chest. A white plastic bag had been placed over her head, covering her mouth and nose, and knotted in the back to keep it in place. Her body had been put in five black plastic garbage bags, stuffed in a large garbage can, and partially covered with bedding, sheets, and other bags. She was dressed only in a camisole and a sweater. Because she could not breathe with the plastic bag tied tightly over her face and due to her positioning in the confined space, she suffocated to death. The time of her death was estimated to be sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon. Based on the plastic bag that covered her face and her positioning inside the garbage can, the oxygen around her face would have been depleted within ten to thirty minutes after she was placed in the garbage can, and she would have died three to five minutes later.

         Mr. Davidson's DNA from sperm was found in Channon's vagina, anus, and on her jeans. Mr. Cobbins's DNA from sperm was found in Channon's mouth and on her camisole, sweater, and jeans. A chlorine substance was found on Channon's camisole. A bottle of cleaning liquid with bleach was found in Mr. Davidson's kitchen.

         The fabric found with Chris's body and the fabric used to bind Channon in the garbage bag were parts of the curtains and bedding that Ms. Freeman had given to Mr. Davidson.

         Mr. Davidson's fingerprint was discovered on a bank envelope recovered from Channon's vehicle. His prints were also found on three of the five plastic garbage bags that contained Channon's body. His palm print was found on the outermost exterior garbage bag. This print was consistent with Mr. Davidson using his hand to lift the bag with weight in it. Mr. Davidson's right palm print and two left palm prints were on the next garbage bag. The third garbage bag bore his palm print. Mr. Davidson's fingerprints were also on items belonging to Channon and Chris found in his house, including a pay stub with Channon's name on it and photographs that had been in her vehicle. Mr. Davidson's prints were also on a box of Brawny garbage bags in the kitchen.

         Ballistics testing revealed that two bullets removed from Chris's body were fired from the same gun. The third bullet was damaged, so the gun that had fired it could not be identified. The bullets could have been fired from the High Standard revolver that was in Mr. Davidson's possession when he was arrested. The Clerke revolver associated with Mr. Cobbins was eliminated as the murder weapon.

         Presentment, Trial, and Convictions

         On January 31, 2007, Mr. Davidson and his co-defendants, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Cobbins, and Ms. Coleman, were charged in a forty-six-count presentment issued by a Knox County Grand Jury. Mr. Davidson was tried separately, and this appeal only involves Mr. Davidson's case.[2] After the trial court merged a number of the charges, Mr. Davidson stood trial on sixteen counts of first degree felony murder, two counts of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts of aggravated kidnapping, nine counts of aggravated rape of Channon, three counts of aggravated rape of Chris, one count of theft of property valued at $10, 000 or more but less than $60, 000, and one count of theft of property valued at $500 or less. The State sought the death penalty. Following an eight-day trial in October 2009, the jury found Mr. Davidson guilty of sixteen counts of first degree felony murder, two counts of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts of aggravated kidnapping, nine counts of aggravated rape of Channon, three counts of facilitation of aggravated rape of Chris, one count of theft of property valued at $10, 000 or more but less than $60, 000, and one count of theft of property valued at $500 or less. The jury imposed two sentences of death on Mr. Davidson.

         After the jury returned its verdict, the State dismissed two felony murder counts. The trial court merged the remaining murder counts into two counts of first degree premeditated murder; merged the two especially aggravated robbery counts and the two theft counts into two counts of especially aggravated robbery; merged the four especially aggravated kidnapping counts into two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping; merged the nine counts of aggravated rape of Channon into three counts of aggravated rape; and merged the three counts of facilitation of aggravated rape of Chris into one count of facilitation of aggravated rape.

         The trial court ordered the two death sentences to be served consecutively to each other and sentenced Mr. Davidson to forty years for each of the especially aggravated robbery counts, to be served concurrently with the death sentences; forty years for each of the especially aggravated kidnapping counts, to be served concurrently with the death sentences; forty years for each of the aggravated rape counts, to be served concurrently with the death sentence for Channon's murder; and twenty years for facilitation of aggravated rape, to be served concurrently with the death sentence for Chris's murder. Mr. Davidson filed a motion for new trial and amended motions for new trial, all of which were denied.

         Mr. Davidson appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals, raising twenty-six claims of error. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and sentences. Davidson, 2015 WL 1087126, at *58-60. The Court of Criminal Appeals remanded the case for correction of clerical errors on the judgment forms regarding the merged counts, finding that the jury's guilty verdicts on separate counts needed to be merged into a single judgment document.

         Under Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206, we conduct this mandatory review to consider the issues raised by Mr. Davidson and to review his death sentences.


         Searches of Mr. Davidson's House and Person

         Mr. Davidson argues that the trial court erred in denying his motions to suppress evidence seized during the two searches of his house and the search of his person. He contends that the first search warrant for his house was defective because it was not supported by a signed affidavit, that the second search warrant for his house was defective because it was based on facts impermissibly obtained from the first search, and that the two search warrants for Mr. Davidson's person to obtain hair and DNA samples for testing were defective because the warrants were based on evidence obtained during the searches of his house. The State contends that the first search warrant was valid despite technical flaws, and that if the search warrant was defective, the evidence obtained from the search was admissible under the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement. The State further argues this Court should adopt a good-faith exception for constitutional violations based on United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). The State submits that the validity of the first search is dispositive of the issues regarding the second search warrant and the search of Mr. Davidson's person.

         The trial court denied Mr. Davidson's motions to suppress, ruling that the first search warrant was valid because although Investigator Childress did not sign the affidavit, he swore to the truth of the facts in the affidavit before the judge who issued the search warrant. The trial court further ruled that the first search of Mr. Davidson's house was valid based on the outstanding attachment for Mr. Davidson's arrest and exigent circumstances. The trial court held that the doctrine of inevitable discovery was not applicable and that a good-faith exception had not been previously adopted in Tennessee. As to the second search warrant, the trial court ruled it was not valid because it relied on information discovered during the execution of the first invalid warrant.

         The Court of Criminal Appeals held the trial court did not err in not suppressing evidence obtained from the execution of the first search warrant but for different reasons than the trial court. The intermediate appellate court ruled the first search warrant was not supported by a signed affidavit and that neither service of the attachment nor exigent circumstances justified entry into Mr. Davidson's house. Davidson, 2015 WL 1087126, at *14, *16-18. The Court of Criminal Appeals held that the evidence obtained from the first search was admissible under the doctrine of inevitable discovery. Id. at *21. As to the second search warrant, the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that it should not have included information discovered in the first search, but after redacting this information, the remaining facts in the affidavit established probable cause for its issuance. The Court of Criminal Appeals found that evidence obtained from the search of Mr. Davidson's person based on a federal search warrant and a state search warrant was admissible because these warrants were based on information obtained during the lawful searches of Mr. Davidson's house. The Court of Criminal Appeals reasoned that, because evidence obtained during the first search of the house was admissible based on the inevitable discovery doctrine, it could be used to establish probable cause for the search of Mr. Davidson's person. The intermediate appellate court further concluded that if the search warrants contained tainted information, the warrants were based on probable cause after redaction of any tainted information. Id. at *24.

         Standard of Review

         A trial court's findings of fact on a motion to suppress are upheld on appeal unless the evidence preponderates otherwise. State v. McCormick, 494 S.W.3d 673, 678 (Tenn. 2016) (citing State v. Odom, 928 S.W.2d 18, 23 (Tenn. 1996)). We defer to the trial court's factual findings on the credibility of the witnesses, the weight and value of the evidence, and resolution of conflicts in the evidence. Id. (quoting Odom, 928 S.W.2d at 23). This Court affords the party prevailing in the trial court the strongest legitimate view of the evidence and all reasonable and legitimate inferences that may be drawn from that evidence. State v. Ross, 49 S.W.3d 833, 839 (Tenn. 2001); State v. Carter, 16 S.W.3d 762, 765 (Tenn. 2000) (quoting State v. Keith, 978 S.W.2d 861, 864 (Tenn. 1998)). We review the trial court's application of law to facts de novo with no presumption of correctness. McCormick, 494 S.W.3d at 678; State v. Freeland, 451 S.W.3d 791, 810 (Tenn. 2014), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct. 1428 (2015).

         First Search Warrant

         A valid search warrant must comply with provisions of the United States Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution, and Tennessee statutory requirements. The federal and state constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures "safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions of government officials." Keith, 978 S.W.2d at 865 (quoting Camara v. Mun. Ct., 387 U.S. 523, 528 (1967)) (internal quotation marks omitted); State v. Yeargan, 958 S.W.2d 626, 629 (Tenn. 1997) (quoting Camara, 387 U.S. at 528). Searches and seizures conducted under valid warrants are presumptively reasonable, whereas warrantless searches and seizures are presumptively unreasonable. McCormick, 494 S.W.3d at 678-79; see also Yeargan, 958 S.W.2d at 629.

         We begin with the constitutional requirements. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

         U.S. Const. amend. IV. To be valid under the federal constitution, a warrant must (1) be issued by a neutral and detached magistrate, (2) particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized, and (3) be based upon probable cause, "supported by Oath or affirmation." United States v. Clyburn, 24 F.3d 613, 617 (4th Cir. 1994) (quoting U.S. Const. amend. IV) (internal quotation marks omitted). The Fourth Amendment has no affidavit requirement.

         Article I, section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution provides:

That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and that general warrants, whereby an officer may be commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offences are not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty and ought not to be granted.

Tenn. Const. art. I, § 7. The Tennessee Constitution, although "identical in intent and purpose with the Fourth Amendment, " State v. Smith, 484 S.W.3d 393, 400 (Tenn. 2016) (quoting Sneed v. State, 423 S.W.2d 857, 860 (Tenn. 1968)), does not contain the Fourth Amendment's oath or affirmation requirement and does not require an affidavit.

         The first search warrant complied with the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. The search warrant was issued by a neutral and detached magistrate. Neutrality and detachment require "severance and disengagement" from the activities of law enforcement. Shadwick v. City of Tampa, 407 U.S. 345, 350 (1972). Under the circumstances of this case, the issuing judge's failure to notice the unsigned affidavit does not indicate he departed from his role as a "neutral and detached" magistrate. See United States v. Richardson, 943 F.2d 547, 550 (5th Cir. 1991) (holding that magistrate's failure to administer oath during warrant application "was inadvertent . . . [and] clearly was not a departure from his neutral and detached role"). The search warrant specifically described the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized and was based on probable cause supported by testimony under oath. The facts relied on to establish probable cause included the discovery of Chris's body wrapped in a sheet and/or comforter; the discovery of Channon's abandoned vehicle, with identifying stickers removed, in the area where Chris's body was found; that both victims went missing at the same time; that a latent print was found on a bank envelope on the back seat of Channon's vehicle matching Mr. Davidson's fingerprint; and that Mr. Davidson's house is a short distance from where Channon's vehicle and Chris's body were found. The Fourth Amendment's oath or affirmation requirement was satisfied when Investigator Childress raised his right hand and swore to the truth of the facts in the unsigned affidavit. Within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, "[o]ath or affirmation" includes sworn oral and written testimony. Sparks v. United States, 90 F.2d 61, 64 (6th Cir. 1937); see also Clyburn, 24 F.3d at 617; United States v. Shields, 978 F.2d 943, 946 (6th Cir. 1992). Under these circumstances, the first search of Mr. Davidson's house was valid under the Fourth Amendment and Article I, section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution.

         Although the search warrant passed constitutional muster, it failed to comply with the affidavit requirements of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-6-103, Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-6-104, and Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(c)(1).

         Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-6-103 provides that a "search warrant can only be issued on probable cause, supported by affidavit, naming or describing the person, and particularly describing the property, and the place to be searched." (Emphasis added).

         Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-6-104 provides:

The magistrate, before issuing the warrant, shall examine on oath the complainant and any witness the complainant may produce, and take their affidavits in writing, and cause them to be subscribed by the persons making the affidavits. The affidavits must set forth facts tending to establish the grounds of the application, or probable cause for believing the grounds exist.

(Emphasis added).

         Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(c)(1) provides that a "warrant shall issue only on an affidavit or affidavits that are sworn before the magistrate and establish the grounds for issuing the warrant." (Emphasis added).

         In preparing the affidavit for the search warrant, Investigator Childress said he "wanted to do things right" and "go by the law." He prepared an affidavit and search warrant with the help of another officer, and he hurriedly printed the documents so he could present them to a judge. Investigator Childress inadvertently failed to change the printer selection from letter to legal size, which resulted in the bottom three inches, including the signature line, being cut off of the affidavit. Investigator Childress and an assistant district attorney appeared before Judge Stansberry in his chambers. After Judge Stansberry reviewed the typewritten affidavit, Investigator Childress raised his right hand, took the oath, and swore to the truth of the contents of the affidavit. Although Investigator Childress signed the search warrant on the signature line labeled "Officer To Whom Warrant Is Delivered For Execution, " no one noticed the omission of Investigator Childress's signature on the affidavit as the affiant. Judge Stansberry signed the warrant, and Investigator Childress and other law enforcement officers commenced a search of Mr. Davidson's house.

         Tennessee statutory and procedural provisions require an affidavit before a magistrate can issue a valid search warrant. The affidavit must contain the signature of the affiant. See Keith, 978 S.W.2d at 869 (holding that a written and sworn affidavit is a prerequisite to the issuance of a valid warrant); Harvey v. State, 60 S.W.2d 420, 420 (Tenn. 1933); Watt v. Carnes, 51 Tenn. (4 Heisk.) 532, 534 (1871) ("An affidavit is a statement in writing, signed and made upon oath before an authorized magistrate."); Freidlander, Stick & Co. v. Pollock & Co., 45 Tenn. (5 Cold.) 490, 495 (1868) ("An oath may be oral or written. An affidavit is a written oath."); Grove v. Campbell, 17 Tenn. (9 Yer.) 7, 10 (1836) ("The word affidavit, ex vi termini, means an oath reduced to writing."); Kenyon v. Handal, 122 S.W.3d 743, 752 n.6 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003) ("An unsigned document cannot qualify as an affidavit . . . .").[3] Because Investigator Childress inadvertently failed to sign as the affiant on the affidavit, the search warrant was not issued on the basis of a signed affidavit as required by Tennessee Code Annotated sections 40-6-103 and 40-6-104 and Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(c)(1). All other constitutional and statutory requirements were met.

         Although this case does not involve a constitutional defect, the test for constitutional violations is one of "reasonableness, " and there are judicially crafted exceptions to the general requirement that a warrant issue before a search by law enforcement. State v. Meeks, 262 S.W.3d 710, 722 (Tenn. 2008) (citing Brigham City, Utah v. Stuart, 547 U.S. 398, 403 (2006); State v. Scarborough, 201 S.W.3d 607, 616-17 (Tenn. 2006)). Among the commonly recognized exceptions to the requirement of a warrant are: (1) a search incident to an arrest, (2) the plain view doctrine, (3) a consent to the search, (4) a Terry stop and frisk, and (5) the existence of exigent circumstances. Id. (citing State v. Berrios, 235 S.W.3d 99, 104 (Tenn. 2007); State v. Cox, 171 S.W.3d 174, 179 (Tenn. 2005)).

         Given Investigator Childress's failure to sign the affidavit, the State contends that the exigent circumstances exception applies to justify the search of Mr. Davidson's house. This exception "applies when the exigencies of the situation make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that a warrantless search is objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment." Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S.Ct. 1552, 1558 (2013) (quoting Kentucky v. King, 563 U.S. 452, 460 (2011)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The State must show that the search is imperative, Meeks, 262 S.W.3d at 723, and there is no time for law enforcement to secure a warrant. McNeely, 133 S.Ct. at 1559. Exigency is determined on a fact-intensive, case-by-case basis. Id. at 1564. In making this determination, we consider the totality of the circumstances to determine whether a law enforcement officer was justified in acting without a warrant. Id.

         Here, the State has failed to establish that the circumstances surrounding the search were so compelling that law enforcement officers did not have time to obtain a search warrant. Chris's body was discovered on Sunday afternoon, and Channon's abandoned vehicle containing a bank envelope was found early Monday morning. The crucial fingerprint evidence linking Mr. Davidson to Channon's vehicle was found on the bank envelope early Tuesday morning. On Tuesday around noon, Investigator Childress appeared before Judge Stansberry to obtain the search warrant. At 12:53 p.m., Judge Stansberry issued the search warrant. Less than an hour later, law enforcement officers searched Mr. Davidson's house. Viewing the totality of the circumstances, it does not appear the search of Mr. Davidson's house was so imperative that law enforcement could not take time to obtain a search warrant.

         Although evidence seized from a warrantless search or a search stemming from an invalid warrant is subject to suppression, the State contends we should adopt a good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule based on the United States Supreme Court's holding in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). There, the Court held that where the officer has reasonably and in good faith conducted a search within the scope of a search warrant later determined to be constitutionally defective, evidence obtained from that search should not be excluded under the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule. Leon, 468 U.S. at 919-22. The Court reasoned that the exclusionary rule is a strong deterrent to police misconduct and the violation of suspects' constitutional rights but that the "unbending application of the exclusionary sanction" may hamper the truth-finding function of a trial and can lead to criminals escaping punishment because of police negligence or misbehavior. Id. at 906-07 (quoting United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 734 (1980)); see also State v. Sanders, 452 S.W.3d 300, 310-11 (Tenn. 2014). Unlike Leon, which involved a search warrant that was constitutionally defective, 468 U.S. at 905, the search warrant here passed constitutional muster. Therefore, Leon is factually distinguishable.

         Given the unusual facts in this case, we adopt a good-faith exception for the admission of evidence when a law enforcement officer has reasonably and in good faith conducted a search within the scope of a warrant the officer believes to be valid, but is later determined to be invalid solely because of a good-faith failure to comply with the affidavit requirement of Tennessee Code Annotated sections 40-6-103 and -104 and Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(c)(1). In doing so, we note that Rule 41(g), a procedural rule promulgated by this Court, does not divest this Court of its authority to decide whether a good-faith exception, or any other exception, should be adopted. State v. Reynolds, No. E2013-02309-SC-R11-CD, 2016 WL 6525856, at *21 (Tenn. 2016).[4]Further, the applicability and validity of the Exclusionary Rule Reform Act, Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-6-108, effective July 1, 2011, are not at issue in this case.

         Investigator Childress intended to obtain a valid search warrant. He reasonably believed that the warrant, based on probable cause and issued by a neutral and detached magistrate, was valid. The search warrant was later determined to be invalid based on noncompliance with statutory and procedural provisions because Investigator Childress printed the affidavit on the wrong size paper, did not notice that the signature line was cut off, and failed to sign the affidavit. Instead, he placed his signature on a line on the warrant. All other constitutional and statutory requirements were met. Moreover, as soon as Investigator Childress learned there was a problem with the first warrant, he immediately stopped the search and, within hours, obtained a second search warrant supported by a properly signed affidavit. When an officer has complied with constitutional requirements to obtain a warrant, but in good faith failed to comply with the state statutory and rule affidavit requirements, societal interests are not advanced when the exclusionary rule applies to exclude evidence obtained from execution of the warrant. We hold the trial court did not err in denying Mr. Davidson's motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the search of his house.

         Based on this ruling, we pretermit discussion of the issues regarding inevitable discovery and the validity of the search warrant based on the outstanding attachment.

         Second Search Warrant and the Search of Mr. Davidson's Person

         Our holding regarding the validity of the first search resolves any issue as to the validity of the second search warrant and the warrants for the search of Mr. Davidson's person. Because the first search of his house was valid, the trial court did not err in denying Mr. Davidson's motions to suppress.

         Mr. Davidson's Statements to Law Enforcement

         Mr. Davidson argues that the trial court erred by denying the motion to suppress the recorded statement he made to law enforcement after his arrest. He submits that his confession was coerced and involuntary because his will was overborne by law enforcement's show of force during his arrest and the intimidating atmosphere of the interrogation. Mr. Davidson also argues that incomplete Miranda warnings rendered his waiver of rights invalid and his statement inadmissible. In response, the State argues that Mr. Davidson's statement was voluntarily given without abuse, threats, or promises and that the Miranda warnings were sufficient. After a pretrial hearing, the trial court denied Mr. Davidson's motion to suppress the statement based on the totality of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Davidson's arrest and interrogation. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. Davidson, 2015 WL 1087126, at *24, *61.

         A trial court's findings of fact on a motion to suppress are upheld on appeal unless the evidence preponderates otherwise. McCormick, 494 S.W.3d at 678 (citing Odom, 928 S.W.2d at 23). We defer to the trial court's factual findings on the credibility of the witnesses, the weight and value of the evidence, and resolution of conflicts in the evidence. Id. (quoting Odom, 928 S.W.2d at 23). This Court affords the party prevailing in the trial court the strongest legitimate view of the evidence and all reasonable and legitimate inferences that may be drawn from that evidence. Ross, 49 S.W.3d at 839; Carter, 16 S.W.3d at 765 (quoting Keith, 978 S.W.2d at 864). However, we review the trial court's application of law to facts de novo with no presumption of correctness. McCormick, 494 S.W.3d at 678; Freeland, 451 S.W.3d at 810.

         At the pretrial hearing, Knoxville Police Department Sergeant DeBow testified he was a member of the Special Operations Squad, or SWAT team, that arrested Mr. Davidson. Before Mr. Davidson's arrest, approximately sixteen SWAT members arrived in an armored vehicle and surrounded the house. The SWAT members wore tactical uniforms, green body dress uniforms, and body armor; some wore helmets; and most wore tactical gloves and safety glasses. Some were armed with long weapons, submachine guns or shotguns, and some had pistols or gas guns. Over thirty law enforcement officers, including members of the Tennessee Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Knox County Sheriff's Department, and other uniformed police officers, were present around the outer perimeter of the house. As the armored vehicle approached the house, the vehicle's public address system was used to order Mr. Davidson to come out of the house. Mr. Davidson placed his hands on the window through the window shades and was "somewhat complying." After a "reasonable amount of time . . . fifteen seconds or so, " Sergeant DeBow, Lieutenant Mark Fortner, and "a couple" of other officers approached the window. Sergeant DeBow was armed with a submachine gun that was pointed toward the window and leveled on Mr. Davidson. Sergeant DeBow ordered Mr. Davidson to drop what was in his hands and to open the window. In response, Mr. Davidson made an apparent attempt to open the window and said, "I can't." Sergeant DeBow told Mr. Davidson to step back from the window, and then Sergeant DeBow broke the window with the barrel of his weapon, raked it clean, and then cleared off as much of the glass as he could with his gloved hands. Sergeant DeBow asked Mr. Davidson where the gun was, and as Mr. Davidson lowered his hands, he pointed down toward either his waistline or the floor. Sergeant DeBow was unable to describe exactly how Mr. Davidson was removed but indicated that when Mr. Davidson put his hands on the window sill, a couple of officers likely grabbed Mr. Davidson by the wrists and pulled him through the window onto the ground on his stomach. At the same time, an emergency response team entered the house through a side door. Sergeant DeBow did not see anyone beat or threaten Mr. Davidson. Once Mr. Davidson was brought up off the ground, Sergeant DeBow and another officer escorted Mr. Davidson to the police vehicle which transported him to the police department. According to Sergeant DeBow, the goal when arresting someone is to safely take the person into custody but agreed that psychological intimidation, including verbal commands, officer presence, submachine guns, uniforms, and verbal commands, could be used in an arrest.

         Gregory McKnight, Knoxville Police Department crimes investigator, testified that when he arrived at the house, Mr. Davidson was already in custody and seated in the back of the police vehicle for no more than five minutes. Investigator McKnight and another officer transported Mr. Davidson to the police department. Investigator McKnight advised Mr. Davidson of his Miranda rights "off the top of [his] head" and engaged in general conversation with Mr. Davidson but did not interrogate him. Investigator McKnight described Mr. Davidson's demeanor as "kind of relaxed, not for sure what was going on." Upon arriving at the police department, the officers escorted Mr. Davidson to an interview room on the third floor to wait for Investigator Flores. Investigator McKnight observed a portion of Mr. Davidson's interview with police and never saw anyone hit, yell at, "be mean to, " or abuse Mr. Davidson.

         Investigator Flores testified that he responded to a call to the house where Mr. Davidson was arrested. Investigator Flores observed that after the Special Operations Squad pulled up to the side of the house in an armored vehicle, Mr. Davidson appeared in the window. A member of the Special Operations Squad knocked out the window, and team members pulled Mr. Davidson out of the window and onto the ground on his stomach. While officers were handcuffing Mr. Davidson, Investigator Flores introduced himself to Mr. Davidson, reassured him that everything would be okay, and told him to relax and stop resisting. Investigator Flores did not hear anyone threaten, kick, or hit Mr. Davidson and observed no injuries to him.

         Before Investigator Flores began questioning Mr. Davidson at the police department, Investigator Flores offered him some food and water. Before the interview, Investigator Flores advised Mr. Davidson of his Miranda rights by reading from a statement and waiver of rights form:






         Mr. Davidson told Investigator Flores, "I know my rights you ain't gotta read my rights I know my rights." Mr. Davidson initialed each of the stated rights and signed the Waiver of Rights form. Investigator Flores signed the form as the Advising Officer/Investigator, and Agent Webb signed the form as the witness. Thereafter, Mr. Davidson provided a recorded statement and responded to questioning by Investigator Flores.

         The due process clauses of the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution require a confession to be voluntary before its admission into evidence. The due process voluntariness test is distinct from Miranda. Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428, 434-35 (2000); Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U.S. 385, 397-98 (1978). The issue under Miranda is whether a suspect received certain warnings and knowingly and voluntarily waived certain rights, whereas the essential inquiry under the voluntariness test is whether a suspect's will was overborne so as to render the confession a product of coercion. Freeland, 451 S.W.3d at 815 (quoting State v. Climer, 400 S.W.3d 537, 568 (Tenn. 2013); State v. Smith, 933 S.W.2d 450, 455 (Tenn. 1996)). The voluntariness test includes an assessment of the psychological impact on the accused and an evaluation of the legal significance of the accused's reaction. Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 226 (1973) (citing Culombe v. Connecticut, 367 U.S. 568, 603 (1961)). Whether a confession was made voluntarily must be determined by a totality of the circumstances, including characteristics of the accused and the details of the interrogation. Dickerson, 530 U.S. at 434 (quoting Schneckloth, 412 U.S. at 226); Freeland, 451 S.W.3d at 815. Relevant factors include the age, education, and intelligence of the accused; the extent of previous experience with law enforcement; whether questioning was repetitive and prolonged; the length of the detention prior to giving a statement; the lack of any advice to the accused of his constitutional rights; whether the accused was injured, intoxicated, drugged, or in ill health; deprivation of food, sleep, or medical attention; and physical abuse or threats of abuse. Climer, 400 S.W.3d at 568 (quoting State v. Huddleston, 924 S.W.2d 666, 671 (Tenn. 1996)); see also Schneckloth, 530 U.S. at 226. Coerced confessions are inherently unreliable. Climer, 400 S.W.3d at 567-68 (citing Dickerson, 530 U.S. at 433; State v. Northern, 262 S.W.3d 741, 748 (Tenn. 2008)).

         Mr. Davidson contends that his statement was coerced through law enforcement's show of force during the arrest and threats of prosecution during the interview. Although a number of uniformed and armed law enforcement officers were present during Mr. Davidson's arrest, the show of force was not disproportionate to the seriousness of the crimes Mr. Davidson was suspected of committing. Sergeant DeBow and Investigator Flores testified consistently that Mr. Davidson was armed with a gun at the time of his arrest and did not fully comply with police commands. The removal of Mr. Davidson from the house by pulling him from the window was necessary given his failure to leave the house or open the window and the SWAT team's inability to enter through the front security door. Sergeant DeBow, Investigator McKnight, and Investigator Flores testified that Mr. Davidson was not beaten, abused, or injured. Mr. Davidson was not detained for an unreasonable time after his arrest and transport to the police department. Only Investigator Flores and Agent Webb were present during the interview. Mr. Davidson expressed to Investigator Flores that he did not want to be left alone for someone else to take his DNA sample, but this statement fails to support Mr. Davidson's claims of fear resulting from a coercive or intimidating atmosphere.

         At the time of the statement, Mr. Davidson was twenty-five years old. He had attended high school and had above-average intelligence. Mr. Davidson had previously been convicted of aggravated robbery and carjacking and incarcerated. The duration of his detention in the interview room at the police department was reasonable. Prior to questioning, Investigator Flores provided food and water to Mr. Davidson, which Mr. Davidson consumed during the interview. Investigator Flores advised Mr. Davidson of his Miranda rights by reading from the Statement of Rights and the waiver form, and Mr. Davidson signed the Waiver of Rights. The interview itself took less than three hours and was not unreasonably lengthy under the circumstances. Mr. Davidson was not injured, intoxicated, impaired, in ill health, abused, or threatened with abuse.

         At one point in the questioning, Investigator Flores made the following statements:

[Y]ou tell me the truth and we work with you. . . . I can go and I can say, "Well Mr. Attorney General . . . he's a liar and this is why and he continued to lie to me all day long and he's gonna deny it and we . . . we'll prove our case and we'll let 12 people judge this man who we can prove's a liar." Or I can say, "Mr. District Attorney, Mr. Judge, this man . . . this is what he said and it [corroborates] all our evidence. He's honest, he fessed up to what part he had [in] these two deaths." And their [sic] gonna go, well, liar or somebody that was a man that fessed up.

         Mr. Davidson argues that these statements constituted a threat of prosecution, rendering the confession involuntary and inadmissible. Mr. Davidson relies on United States v. Harrison, 34 F.3d 886 (9th Cir. 1994). In Harrison, an agent advised the accused of evidence against her and that she might be facing up to twenty years in prison. Id. at 890. The agent then asked the accused whether she thought it would be better if the agent told the judge that the accused had cooperated or not cooperated. Id. The accused gave a statement after responding that she understood it would be better if she talked to the agents and they told the judge she had cooperated. Id. The trial court found the defendant's confession voluntary and admitted the statement into evidence. Id. at 889-90. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that law enforcement officers may not suggest that an exercise of the right to remain silent may result in harsher treatment by a court or prosecutor. Id. at 891-92. The Ninth Circuit found that the agent did not explicitly threaten a longer sentence if the accused did not give a statement, but "[t]he improper conduct was the suggestion that they might inform the court that she had not cooperated." Id. at 891. The Ninth Circuit suggested that the agents' statements amounted to "subtle psychological coercion [that] can effectively overbear a suspect's free will." Id. at 892. Noting that the defendant broke her silence only after the statement was made to her, the Ninth Circuit reasoned that the defendant "could only conclude that she might suffer for her silence" despite the agents' "thinly veiled" suggestion. Id. at 891.

         Mr. Davidson's reliance on Harrison is misplaced. In Harrison, the issue before the court was whether the defendant's will was so overborne by the agent's comment about cooperation that the defendant was compelled to provide a statement in violation of her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Mr. Davidson argues that his will was so overborne by Investigator Flores's comments that his waiver and statement were not freely and voluntarily given in violation of his due process rights. Unlike the defendant in Harrison, who remained silent until the agent made that comment, Mr. Davidson was engaged in the interview and responding to Investigator Flores before the statements were made. The record does not indicate that Mr. Davidson remained silent, resisted being interviewed, requested an attorney, or invoked his right against self-incrimination before or during the interview. Investigator Flores read Mr. Davidson the Statement of Rights and the waiver form, and Mr. Davidson initialed each of the five stated rights. Mr. Davidson signed a Waiver of Rights, which states, "No promises or threats have been made to me." There is no showing that he construed Investigator Flores's statements as a promise of leniency that compelled him to confess. See Smith, 933 S.W.2d at 455 (holding that promises of leniency do not per se render subsequent confessions involuntary, but instead the Fifth Amendment prohibits confessions compelled by promises of leniency).

         The trial court considered the Huddleston factors and concluded that Mr. Davidson's recorded statement was not the result of an inappropriate atmosphere or improper coercion. The evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's findings. Based on these findings of fact, the trial court did not err in denying Mr. Davidson's motion to suppress.

         Mr. Davidson also argues that he did not voluntarily and knowingly waive his right to remain silent before giving his statement because he was given incomplete Miranda warnings by Investigator McKnight in the police car and on the written waiver form provided by Investigator Flores. Specifically, Mr. Davidson argues that the warnings failed to advise him that he was entitled to consult with an attorney before and during the interview.

         The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: "No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." U.S. Const. amend. V.

         Article I, section 9 of the Tennessee Constitution provides that in criminal prosecutions, "the accused . . . shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself." This privilege against self-incrimination affords criminal defendants the right to remain silent. State v. Dotson, 450 S.W.3d 1, 52 (Tenn. 2014), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct. 1535 (2015); Freeland, 451 S.W.3d at 813; State v. Jackson, 444 S.W.3d 554, 585 (Tenn. 2014).

         In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the United States Supreme Court established procedural safeguards to protect the privilege against self-incrimination. Id. at 444. Miranda requires law enforcement to warn a person prior to custodial interrogation

that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.

Id. at 479. After being given these warnings and an opportunity to exercise these rights throughout the interrogation, the person being questioned may knowingly and intelligently waive these rights and agree to answer questions or make a statement. Id. The interrogation must cease if the right to remain silent is invoked. Freeland, 451 S.W.3d at 814 (citing Miranda, 384 U.S at 473-74). However, the accused must unambiguously invoke his constitutional right to remain silent. Dotson, 450 S.W.3d at 53 (citing Berghuis v. Thompkins, 560 U.S. 370, 381-82 (2010)).

         The State bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant waived his or her Miranda rights. Freeland, 451 S.W.3d at 814 (citing Climer, 400 S.W.3d at 564; Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600, 608 n.1 (2004)). To satisfy this burden, the prosecution must demonstrate that

the waiver was voluntary in that 'it was the product of a free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion, or deception, ' and was knowing in that it was made 'with a full awareness of both the nature of the right being abandoned and the consequences of the decision to abandon it.'

Id. (quoting Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412, 421 (1986)). Unless the prosecution can demonstrate that, based on the totality of circumstances, the defendant's waiver was voluntary and knowing, statements given during the interrogation are not admissible in the prosecution's case-in-chief. Id. 451 S.W.3d at 814 (quoting Miranda, 384 U.S. at 479).

         The Miranda warnings given to Mr. Davidson sufficiently advised him of his rights to consult with counsel and to remain silent. The Statement of Rights advised him that he had the right to consult with a lawyer and to have one present during questioning. The Statement of Rights also advised him that, even if he chose to answer questions without a lawyer present, he could stop answering at any time. Mr. Davidson indicated verbally that he understood his rights, and he voluntarily signed the written waiver, acknowledging, "I understand each of my rights, and I am willing to make a statement and answer questions without a lawyer present." The absence of the exact language, "before and during, " does not render the warnings insufficient. Miranda does not mandate a "talismanic incantation" or precise formulation of the warnings. California v. Prysock, 453 U.S. 355, 359 (1981). The question is only whether the warnings reasonably conveyed a suspect's rights as required by Miranda. Duckworth v. Eagan, 492 U.S. 195, 203 (1989) (quoting Prysock, 453 U.S. at 361). Based on the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that Mr. Davidson was properly advised of his right to counsel and to remain silent, he understood his rights, and he knowingly and voluntarily relinquished those rights.

         We hold that the trial court did not err in denying Mr. Davidson's motion to suppress his statement to law enforcement.

         Spectator Buttons

         Mr. Davidson asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion to prohibit spectators from wearing buttons displaying photographs of the victims taken before their deaths. The trial court allowed buttons displaying images of the victims to be worn at trial but imposed restrictions on their use: the buttons could only be worn by the victims' immediate family members, defined as parents, siblings, and grandparents; the buttons had to be worn on or close to the lapel; the buttons could not be worn while the family member was testifying; the buttons could show only a photograph of the victim as a young adult; and the same button had to be worn throughout the trial. The trial court reasoned that the buttons would express nothing more than normal grief occasioned by losing a family member and would not brand Mr. Davidson with the mark of guilt. The trial court explicitly found that the buttons would not create an atmosphere of coercion or intimidation at trial. The trial court enforced the restrictions and during the trial, reminded spectators that only immediate family members could wear the buttons.

         The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court on this issue, noting that the trial court utilized a measured approach when making its decision and carefully crafted a rule designed to limit the negative impact of the buttons. Davidson, 2015 WL 1087126, at *35.

         Mr. Davidson argues that a per se rule banning the display of buttons should be adopted. He contends the buttons constituted impermissible victim impact evidence that showed the emotional effect of the murders on the families, thereby creating an unacceptable risk that the jurors would be unduly influenced by their own emotional responses. Mr. Davidson submits that by allowing spectators to wear buttons, the trial court created an inherently prejudicial courtroom condition that deprived him of his right to a fair trial. Mr. Davidson also argues that the trial court failed to require spectators to follow the restrictions placed on the display of the buttons. The State argues that Mr. Davidson can show neither inherent prejudice nor actual prejudice and therefore is entitled to no relief.

         The right to a trial by an impartial jury is guaranteed by the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 9 of the Tennessee Constitution. State v. Carruthers, 35 S.W.3d 516, 559 (Tenn. 2000). These constitutional provisions entitle a criminal defendant to a fair trial, not a perfect one. Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673, 681 (1986); State v. Hutchison, 482 S.W.3d 893, 921 (Tenn. 2016). The right to an impartial jury is a fundamental aspect of a fair trial. State v. Odom, 336 S.W.3d 541, 556 (Tenn. 2011). An impartial jury is "one which is of impartial frame of mind at the beginning of trial, is influenced only by legal and competent evidence produced during trial, and bases its verdict upon evidence connecting defendant with the commission of the crime charged." Durham v. State, 188 S.W.2d 555, 558 (Tenn. 1945). This Court's inquiry is whether the jury that tried the case was fair and impartial. State v. Leath, 461 S.W.3d 73, 110-11 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2013) (quoting State v. Taylor, No. W2011-00671-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 2308088, at *6 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 18, 2012)). A defendant is entitled to have his "guilt or innocence determined solely on the basis of the evidence introduced at trial, and not on grounds of official suspicion, indictment, continued custody, or other circumstances not adduced as proof at trial." Taylor v. Kentucky, 436 U.S. 478, 485 (1978).

         We review the trial court's decision under an abuse of discretion standard. A trial court abuses its discretion when it applies an incorrect legal standard, reaches a conclusion that is not logical, bases its decision on a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence, or uses reasoning that causes an injustice to the complaining party. State v. Davis, 466 S.W.3d 49, 61 (Tenn. 2015). The trial court has broad discretion in controlling the course and conduct of trial. State v. King, 40 S.W.3d 442, 449 (Tenn. 2001); State v. Cazes, 875 S.W.2d 253, 260 (Tenn. 1994). One of the court's basic responsibilities is to ensure a fair trial. State v. Holton, 126 S.W.3d 845, 870 app. (Tenn. 2004) (quoting State v. Franklin, 714 S.W.2d 252, 258 (Tenn. 1986)).

Generally, the trial court, which has presided over the proceedings, is in the best position to make determinations regarding how to achieve this primary purpose, and absent some abuse of the trial court's discretion in marshalling the trial, an appellate court should not redetermine in retrospect and on a cold record how the case could have been better tried.

Franklin, 714 S.W.2d at 258.

         Whether spectators can wear buttons displaying images of the victims is an issue of first impression in Tennessee. The United States Supreme Court addressed state-sponsored courtroom practices in Estelle v. Williams, 425 U.S. 501, 503-06 (1976), and Holbrook v. Flynn, 475 U.S. 560, 568 (1986). In Williams, the State required the defendant to wear an orange prison jumpsuit during his trial. The Supreme Court found this government action was highly prejudicial and deprived the defendant of due process. Williams, 425 U.S. at 504. The Court reasoned that the defendant's clothing was likely to be a continuing influence throughout the trial, and there was an unacceptable risk it would affect a juror's judgment. Id. at 504-05. Finding that no essential state policy was advanced by compelling a defendant to dress in prison clothing at trial, the Supreme Court held that the practice constituted a violation of due process. Id. at 512. In Flynn, the issue was whether four uniformed, armed state troopers seated in the front row of the gallery directly behind the defendant was so inherently prejudicial that he was deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial. Flynn, 475 U.S. at 562. The Court determined that conspicuous presence of security personnel in the courtroom was not an inherently prejudicial practice, such as shackling and prison clothing. Id. at 568-69. The Court noted that, unlike a policy requiring defendants to wear prison garb, the deployment of troopers to maintain security during trial served a legitimate state interest. Id. at 571-72.

         Both of these cases involved state-sponsored courtroom practices, rather than the spectator or private-actor conduct at issue here. In Cary v. Musladin, 549 U.S. 70 (2006), the United States Supreme Court reviewed a state trial court decision that allowed the victim's family to wear buttons displaying the victim's image. The trial court found no possible prejudice to the defendant and denied the defendant's motion to forbid the buttons. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded, concluding that the state court applied a test for prejudice different from the one stated in Williams and Flynn, and therefore, the trial court's decision was contrary to clearly established applicable federal law. Id. at 73. In considering the case, the United States Supreme Court noted that the issue of spectator button display was an open question and one that the Court had not previously addressed. Id. at 76.

         Due to a lack of guidance from the United States Supreme Court, lower courts resolved the issue of spectator-conduct claims in divergent ways. Some courts applied the Williams and Flynn standard to spectator conduct. For example, in Norris v. Risley, 918 F.2d 828, 829-30 (9th Cir. 1990), approximately fifteen female members of a Rape Task Force and the National Organization for Women wore "Women Against Rape" buttons during the defendant's trial for kidnapping and rape. The buttons were two and one-half inches in diameter with the word "Rape" underlined with a broad red stroke. Id. at 830. The trial court denied the defendant's motion to have the women excluded from the courtroom or to prevent them from wearing the buttons. Id. at 829. The trial court ruled that the public was entitled to attend court proceedings and that the buttons constituted no imminent threat. Id. The defendant was convicted of kidnapping and rape, his convictions were affirmed on appeal, and his application for habeas corpus relief was denied. Id. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the defendant did not receive a fair trial because the risk that the buttons had an impact on the jurors was unacceptably high. Id. at 834. Relying on the holdings of Williams and Flynn, the Ninth Circuit concluded that "these large and boldly highlighted buttons tainted Norris's right to a fair trial both by eroding the presumption of innocence and by allowing extraneous, prejudicial considerations to permeate the proceedings without subjecting them to the safeguards of confrontation and cross-examination." Id.

         Other courts distinguished Flynn on its facts. For example, in Woods v. Dugger, 711 F.Supp. 586, 594 (M.D. Fla. 1989), the court found that the presence of correctional officers and co-workers of the victim as spectators was not inherently prejudicial to ...

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