Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Session March 14, 2017 Heard at Belmont University College of
from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. I-CR099094
Joseph Woodruff, Judge
Defendant, Bart Leo Tucker, was convicted by a Williamson
County jury of one count of issuing a worthless check.
See T.C.A. § 39-14-121. On appeal, the
Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and
contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion for
judgment of acquittal. Following our review, we reverse the
judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Reversed and Dismissed
Faeder, Nashville Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant,
Bart Leo Tucker.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper,
District Attorney General; and Tammy J. Rettig, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., joined. Timothy L. Easter,
J., filed a separate opinion.
CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE
12, 2014, the Defendant purchased a truck from Walker
Chevrolet in Franklin, Tennessee. The Defendant made a down
payment for the truck in the amount of $15, 000 with a check
dated May 12, 2014. On May 16, 2014, the Defendant's
check was returned for insufficient funds. On September 14,
2015, the Defendant was indicted by a Williamson County Grand
Jury for one count of issuing a worthless check, a Class C
felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-14-121(f) (Supp.
only witness testimony included in the record provided on
appeal is from David Hamilton, the Walker Chevrolet finance
manager at the time of the incident. Hamilton first met the
Defendant on the day that he bought the truck, May 12, 2014.
Hamilton said that he was later told by Walker
Chevrolet's controller that the Defendant's check had
been returned. Hamilton subsequently contacted the Defendant
multiple times and testified that the Defendant "said he
would take care of it" and bring another check, but he
never did. When asked by the State whether he had "any
reason to believe that this check was not good" at the
time of the transaction, Hamilton replied, "None,
cross-examination, Hamilton testified that he had "never
once accepted a postdated check." The following exchange
then took place during Hamilton's cross-examination:
Defense counsel: Do you recall any discussion with [the
Defendant] about whether the check was ready to clear as soon
as it was written or whether he would need a little time for
money to come into the account?
Hamilton: He did ask for two ...