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State v. Bowles

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

August 15, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MARIO BOWLES

          ASSIGNED ON BRIEFS FEBRUARY 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 14-00579 J. Robert Carter, Jr., Judge

         Defendant, Mario Bowles, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of two counts of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping. The trial court sentenced Defendant to twenty-three years at one-hundred percent for each count of aggravated rape, which the trial court merged, and twenty-three years at one-hundred percent for aggravated kidnapping. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently with one another and consecutively with an unrelated case. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for aggravated rape and that the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of attempted aggravated rape. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; Harry E. Sayle III, and Charles Walker, Assistant Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mario Bowles.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Dru Carpenter, and Cavet Ostner, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen, and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE

         Background

         In October 2013, the victim was working as a case manager at Southeast Mental Health Center, and Defendant was one of her clients. She had been his case worker since August or September 2013, and she had met with him three times. On October 2, 2013, the victim was scheduled to meet with Defendant at his residence. The victim called Defendant that day and asked if she could meet with him earlier than scheduled, and Defendant agreed. She arrived fifteen minutes later at Defendant's home on Trout Valley Cove. The victim knocked on the door, and Defendant let her in. He immediately closed and locked the door behind her. Although Defendant lived with his mother, she was not home at the time. The victim testified: "And then from behind he put his hand on my mouth and a knife to my neck and we kind of hit the floor." Defendant told the victim to be quiet and asked where her phone was located, and she motioned toward it. Defendant then stood the victim up from the floor and had her walk toward a bedroom. He was still behind her with his hand over her mouth and the knife to her neck.

         The victim and Defendant walked into the bedroom, and Defendant again instructed her to not say anything. He took his hand away from her mouth and told her to remove her pants and underwear. The victim tried to talk to Defendant but he told her to be quiet. Defendant instructed the victim to get on the bed, and he got on top of her with the knife to her neck. She noticed a second longer knife on the bed near their legs. The victim testified that Defendant thought she was wearing a wire, so he told her to repeat the date and say that she would come back later to see him. Defendant then told the victim that he was going to rub his penis on her vagina but that "he wasn't going to put it in." The victim testified that Defendant pulled his pants down, and she said:

He was just rubbing his penis on my vagina just kind of up and down. And then he - - I was still - - he just kept saying be quiet. And anytime I tried to talk he would just take the knife and kind of put it to my throat and tell me to be quiet. And then he spit on his hand and he rubbed it on my vagina and he was rubbing his penis on it. And so I was saying, you know, that I just want to help him. Why do he want to hurt me and stuff. And so he was just - - he was like be quiet. He was looking out the window. Just kind of paranoid that somebody was coming. And so - -and so he said that he was going to put it in for a little bit. And so I started to cry. And so he just said - - but I couldn't cry. I just ma[d]e a noise and he was just like be quiet. And so he - -
He put his penis in my vagina and he was just moving kind of like up and down.

         At some point, Defendant put the knife down to spit on his hand, and the victim grabbed the knife and attempted to stab Defendant in the back. The blade of the knife bent, and the victim and Defendant got into a scuffle. The blade of the knife ended up in the victim's hand and cut her hand and her thigh. The victim testified that Defendant took the knife and tossed it behind the headboard of the bed. She said that Defendant seemed stunned and said that she had tried to kill him. Defendant eventually said that he had "messed up" and was going to let the victim go. Defendant also told the victim that he had been drinking beer and using cocaine. At that point, Defendant got up and put his pants back on. The victim was not certain if Defendant ejaculated while he was raping her but he told her that he did not and that he did not have AIDS. Defendant allowed the victim to put her underwear and pants back on, and they walked out of the bedroom. Defendant then told the victim to go into the bathroom and clean ...


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