Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs May 18, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 103646 G. Scott
defendant, Ashanti Glass, was sentenced to fifteen years in
confinement after a jury found her guilty of aggravated child
neglect pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-402. On
appeal, the defendant argues the evidence was insufficient to
support her conviction. Following our review, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Michael A.
Graves, Knoxville, Tennessee (at trial and motion for new
trial), for the appellant, Ashanti Glass.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P.
Allen, District Attorney General; Ashley McDermott and Rachel
Russell, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ.,
T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE
case, the two-year-old victim sustained severe burn injuries
to her feet at the hands of the defendant, her mother. Though
the victim's injuries occurred on December 28, 2013, she
did not receive medical treatment until January 11, 2014.
Upon her admittance to East Tennessee Children's
Hospital, the emergency department physician, Dr. Mary
Palmer, recognized immediately that the victim needed to be
treated in a burn center. As a result, the victim was
transferred to the burn center at Vanderbilt University
Medical Center, where she remained for thirteen days.
to being transferred to Vanderbilt, Dr. Palmer, an expert in
pediatric emergency medicine, treated the victim. She
testified that the victim was in obvious pain when she
arrived at the hospital. Though hospital staff provided the
victim with morphine and fluids to control her pain, the
victim "was really anxious about [hospital staff]
approaching her feet, and she kept holding them off the
bed." The victim's feet were burned from her toes to
the front and the back of her ankles. The bottoms of the
victim's feet were not burned. According to Dr. Palmer,
when hospital staff asked the victim who burned her feet,
"[the victim] stated that [the defendant] did it."
speaking with the defendant and examining the victim, Dr.
Palmer suspected neglect based upon the defendant's time
frame of when the victim's injuries occurred and
"because of the amount of pain that the child
would've been in" after sustaining the burns. She
noted that the victim was not walking, "[a]nd by [the
defendant's] history she had been pretty much scooting
prior to that." Dr. Palmer notified the Department of
Investigator Keith Johnson of the Knoxville Police Department
and Travis Bishop of the Department of Children's
Services interviewed the defendant on January 11, 2014, and
April 25, 2014, regarding the victim's injuries.
Investigator Johnson recorded both interviews and portions
were played for the jury at trial. Throughout the
investigation, it was clear the defendant told several
versions of the events that led to the victim's injuries.
defendant told the investigators that on December 28, 2013,
the victim had an accident in the bathroom which left feces
on the floor, in the victim's hair, and on the
victim's body. As a result, the defendant placed the
victim in the bathtub with the water running. The defendant
left the victim unattended in the bathtub for two to three
minutes. When she came back to the bathroom, the defendant
noticed that the water was hot and she took the ...