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State v. Gardenhire

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

December 29, 2016

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ELIZABETH GARDENHIRE

          Assigned on Briefs September 20, 2016 at Knoxville

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for White County No. CR-6975 David A. Patterson, Judge

         Following a jury trial, the defendant, Elizabeth Gardenhire, was convicted of theft of property valued at $1000 or more but less than $10, 000, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a career offender to twelve years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, arguing that the State failed to establish that she acted knowingly or that the value of the property was $1000 or more. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Michael J. Rocco (on appeal) and Daniel Barnes (at trial), Sparta, Tennessee, for the appellant, Elizabeth Gardenhire.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Bryant C. Dunaway, District Attorney General; and Philip A. Hatch, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE

         FACTS

         The defendant and a co-defendant, Walmart employee Dixie Betterton, were indicted for theft of property valued at $1000 or more but less than $10, 000, based upon their theft of over $3000, achieved through a series of fraudulent transactions, from the Walmart store in Sparta, Tennessee, between July 6 and July 28, 2014.

         At trial, Diane Keele, an asset protection associate at the Sparta Walmart, testified that she had reviewed the store's surveillance video covering the dates of July 6-28, 2014, and identified the video, which was published to the jury and admitted as an exhibit. She identified the defendant on the video, as well as in the courtroom. Ms. Keele said she retrieved receipts from the store's computer database related to the time period of the theft, which were also admitted as exhibits. All fourteen receipts contained price overrides, competitive price matches, voided entries, debit loads, [1] or refunded items. The receipts reflected that each fraudulent transaction took place at cash register number 9 and that Ms. Betterton was the cashier in the majority of the transactions. Ms. Keele said that the total loss to Walmart was $3250.90 and explained the dates and various items the defendant received in each transaction, which are summarized as follows:

July 6, 2014 at 2:28 a.m. - household items and men's clothing, resulting in a loss of $28.90;
July 7, 2014 at 3:22 a.m. - a fishing rod, tea lights, Bic lighters, and other items, resulting in a loss of $131.81;
July 14, 2014 at 11:40 p.m. - beer, steaks and other meats, men's shoes, snack cakes, candy, and other items, ...

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