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State v. Adkins

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

May 24, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CARL ADKINS

          Assigned on Briefs July 26, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Henderson County No. 141051 Roy B. Morgan, Judge.

         Defendant, Carl Adkins, was found guilty by a jury of the offense of rape of a child and was sentenced to serve twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. In this appeal, Defendant challenges the legal sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction, specifically asserting that (1) his identity as the perpetrator was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt because the victim could not identify him in court, and (2) the victim gave contradictory testimony at trial under oath. Following a careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Michael Thorne, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carl Adkins.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Angela R. Scott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Facts

         The State presented the testimony of three witnesses at trial, including a forensic interviewer, the victim, and an investigator with the Henderson County Sheriff's Department. The State also introduced into evidence the audio/video recording of the victim's statement to the forensic interviewer, in compliance with T.C.A. § 24-7-123. We will summarize the evidence that is relevant to the issue raised in this appeal.

         Ivie Capps testified that she is a forensic interviewer and that she interviewed the victim, who was a few days away from being five years old, in April 2014. During cross-examination, defense counsel asked Ms. Capps what information she had about the allegations prior to conducting the forensic interview with the victim. She answered, "[t]he allegations that I had were, [the victim] reported that her step-father, Carl Adkins, plays the kissy-butt game and sees bubbles come out her step-father's private part." She had received the information from Investigator Lacy Shemerick with the Dothan, Alabama, police department. The initial report to law enforcement and the forensic interview were in Dothan because the victim was visiting her father and paternal grandparents at the time she disclosed the allegations. Investigator Shemerick told Ms. Capps that the investigation in Dothan was done as a courtesy to the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, because the criminal acts occurred in Henderson County, Tennessee.

         The victim testified at trial that she was six years old. She demonstrated her knowledge of the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie. She acknowledged that she must tell the truth in court. She testified that she had watched the video of the forensic interview a few days prior to trial. The victim added that she told the truth in what she said during the recorded forensic interview.

         In the forensic interview, the victim stated that "Daddy Carl" had made her "kiss" his "thing" that he "tinkled from" and that "white stuff" came out of "Daddy Carl's" "thing." During the forensic interview, the victim moved her head forward and backward multiple times to show the movement she made when "kissing" "Daddy Carl" on his "thing."

         When the victim was asked by the prosecutor at trial whether the victim could see "Daddy Carl" in the courtroom, she shook her head to indicate "no, " even after standing up from the witness seat and being asked by the prosecutor to move with her to get a better view. The victim testified that "Daddy Carl" is married to the victim's mother. She added that ...


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