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State v. Puckett

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

June 16, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MARCUS PUCKETT

          Assigned on Briefs: March 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 11-05251 John Campbell, Judge

         The defendant, Marcus Puckett, appeals his Shelby County Criminal Court jury conviction of driving under the influence ("DUI"), claiming that the trial court erred by permitting the State to play the video recording of the defendant's traffic stop in its entirety in violation of his constitutional rights. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Claiborne Ferguson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Puckett.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Michael McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE

         Following a 2013 jury trial, a Shelby County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant of one count of DUI. On appeal, this court reversed the defendant's conviction and granted a new trial based upon the trial court's failure to suppress the results of a breath alcohol test because the State failed to comply with the Sensing requirements. See State v. Marcus Puckett, No. W2013-02556-CCA-R3-CD, slip op. at 1 (Tenn. Crim. App., Jackson, Nov. 20, 2014) (citing State v. Sensing, 843 S.W.2d 412 (1992)).

         At the defendant's second trial, Officer Joshua Shultz of the Germantown Police Department testified that at approximately 3:00 a.m. on November 28, 2010, he was working as part of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office Metro DUI Task Force when he observed a green Cadillac "stopped at a green light at Houston Levee and Macon." He watched the vehicle "accelerate rapidly" before swerving in its lane several times. Officer Shultz activated his emergency equipment. The vehicle pulled over in an open space and then continued to roll forward until Officer Shultz sounded his siren. After the car stopped, Officer Shultz approached the driver's side and tapped the window to get the driver to roll the window down.

         The defendant, who was shirtless and covered in blood, was sitting in the driver's seat, and Kanisha Hutchison was seated in the passenger's seat. The windshield of the vehicle was completely shattered. When Officer Shultz asked the defendant to exit the vehicle, he immediately noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from the defendant's person. In addition, the defendant swayed on his feet, his clothing was disheveled, his eyes were glassy and watery, and he was speaking incoherently. At one point, Officer Shultz called emergency medical services to examine the defendant. After the defendant was cleared by medical personnel, Officer Shultz continued to question the defendant in an attempt to discern how the defendant came to be covered in blood and how the windshield came to be shattered. The defendant's girlfriend, Kanisha Hutchison, eventually told Officer Carolyn Chambers, who had come to assist in the investigation, that the defendant had smashed the windshield with his fist.

         Officer Shultz testified that he did not ask the defendant to perform field sobriety tests because it was too cold outside for the shirtless defendant to perform the tests and because the defendant was "obviously drunk." Instead, he arrested the defendant for DUI. He reiterated that the defendant was stopped at a green light when he first observed him, that he smelled of alcohol, that he had watery, glassy eyes, and that he was unsteady on his feet. Additionally, Officer Shultz recalled that the defendant spoke incoherently and, at one point, defecated on himself.

         The State exhibited to Officer Shultz's testimony the video recording of the traffic stop. The first 45 minutes of ...


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