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State v. Wilson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 25, 2017


          Assigned on Briefs November 8, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Warren County No. 15-CR-581 Larry B. Stanley, Jr., Judge

         Defendant, Eric Dwayne Wilson, in a jury trial, was convicted of third offense driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), and of violating the implied consent law following a bench trial. Defendant pleaded nolo contendere to failure to stop at a stop sign and failure to have each required lamp and stoplight in operating condition. Defendant received a sentence of eleven months, twenty-nine days, with three hundred days of confinement in the county jail and the remainder of the sentence on supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a $5, 000 fine, and his license was revoked for six years. Concerning the implied consent violation, the judgment form indicates that Defendant's driver's license was revoked for one year "consecutive to any revocation or suspension currently in effect." Defendant was also sentenced to thirty days each for failure to stop at a stop sign and failure to have each required lamp and stoplight in operating condition to be served concurrently with the DUI charge. On appeal, Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for DUI and that there was no proof relating to the implied consent form and the search warrant. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Robert S. Peters, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Dwayne Wilson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Counsel, Assistant Attorney General; Lisa Zavogiannis, District Attorney General; and Darrell Julian, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          THOMAS T. WOOD ALL, P. J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which ALAN E. GLENN and ROBERT W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.




         State's Proof

         At approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 5, 2014, Deputy Eddie Colwell of the Warren County Sheriff's Department was parked on "the little private drive on Crisp Springs Road" next to a market, watching traffic at the intersection of Old Shelbyville Road and Crisp Springs Road. While sitting there, Deputy Colwell saw a Honda car run past the stop sign at the intersection without stopping. The car was traveling on Crisp Springs Road and made a left turn onto Old Shelbyville Road and was headed toward McMinnville. Deputy Colwell also noticed that the driver's side rear brake light of the car was broken. Deputy Colwell activated his blue lights and pulled the vehicle over. He walked up to the car and attempted to tell the driver, whom he said was Defendant, who he was and why he had pulled Defendant over. Deputy Colwell testified that Defendant began "yelling vulgar words as in, f[- -]k you, Jason Walker and saying that [Deputy Colwell] was Jason Walker . . ." Deputy Colwell attempted to calm Defendant, and he told Defendant multiple times that he was not Jason Walker. Jason Walker was a Sergeant with the Warren County Sheriff's Department and was Deputy Colwell's supervisor at the time. Defendant again said, "f[- -]k you, you're profiling me[.]" He also told Deputy Colwell that if the deputy did not have a gun, Defendant would "kick [his] f [- -]king ass." Deputy Colwell testified that Defendant's speech was slurred, and "his eyes appeared to be constricted and bloodshot."

         Other officers arrived on the scene, and Deputy Colwell asked Defendant to exit his vehicle and perform some field sobriety tests. Deputy Colwell testified that Defendant at that point thought everything "was a big joke, " and he was laughing. Deputy Colwell testified that the first test given was the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the second test was the walk-and-turn test, and the third test was the one-leg-stand. Deputy Colwell explained the tests to Defendant, and Defendant indicated that he understood them. Since the HGN is a scientific test, Deputy Colwell did not testify concerning the results of that test. He said that on the walk-and-turn test, Defendant could not keep his balance during the instructional stage. Deputy Colwell further testified: "[A]lso on the walking down and turn around and coming back he st[e]pped off the line and raised his arms for balance going down and coming back." Deputy Colwell determined that Defendant showed "clues of impairment" on the test.

         Deputy Colwell then administered the one-leg-stand test to Defendant. As Deputy Colwell demonstrated the test to Defendant, Defendant "was making smart alec remarks, acting like everything was a joke and it was funny to him." When Defendant attempted to perform the test, "[h]e showed clues by putting his foot down three times and he also raised his arms for balance." Deputy Colwell testified that he asked Defendant about medications or alcohol, and Defendant indicated that he had not consumed anything. Defendant did not mention any physical infirmities or injuries from fighting. Deputy Colwell also noted that Sergeant Jason Walker later arrived at the scene, and Defendant finally realized that Deputy Colwell was not Sergeant Walker.

         Deputy Colwell testified that he asked Defendant to perform some additional "tasks." On the "[f]inger dexterity, " Defendant "miscounted several times by jumping around on numbers from say 4 to 1 or 2 to 4. [Defendant] couldn't do his numbers correctly." Deputy Colwell next asked Defendant to start with the letter E of the alphabet and stop at the letter S. Defendant could not complete the task because he skipped letters. At that point Deputy Colwell felt that Defendant could not safely operate a vehicle, and he placed Defendant under arrest. Defendant "started cussing and yelling saying this was f[- - ]kin' bullshit, " and he was "argumentative about the arrest." Deputy Colwell asked for a blood sample, and Defendant refused. He then read Defendant the "Tennessee Implied Consent Form." Defendant still refused to give a blood sample. Deputy Colwell advised Defendant of his Miranda rights and transported him to the Warren County Sheriff's Office. As they drove past the National Guard Armory, Defendant said that there were people outside the armory who were cheering for him because he was a mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighter, and he had gotten arrested. However, no one was actually outside of the armory at the time.

         Deputy Colwell obtained a search warrant for a sample of Defendant's blood after they arrived at the sheriff's office. Thereafter, Defendant was transported to the River Park Hospital to have his blood drawn. Deputy Colwell testified that Defendant was "very friendly" and kind to the nurses "because he was talking about how pretty and stuff they were, the things that he would like to do." Deputy Colwell testified that he was present when Defendant's blood was drawn and that it was placed into vials, labeled, sealed, "and placed into evidence at the sheriff's department" until it was sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Crime Lab to be tested for drugs or alcohol.

         Special Agent Holly Carrell is a Forensic Scientist in the toxicology section of the TBI Crime Lab and an expert in the field of forensic toxicology. She analyzed the blood samples in the present case and found that the sample contained methamphetamine at ".16 micrograms per milliliter and amphetamine was found at less than .05 micrograms per milliliter." Special Agent Carrell testified that ...

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