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State v. Keene

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

January 12, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MARIO DONTE KEENE

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Greene County No. 14CR340 John F. Dugger, Jr., Judge

         The Greene County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant, Mario Donte Keene, on four counts of felony murder, one count of especially aggravated robbery, and one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, all in connection with the death of the victim, Donald Gunter. A jury convicted the Defendant as charged, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of life. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient for a rational juror to have found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and especially aggravated kidnapping. The Defendant also asserts that the State committed prosecutorial misconduct in its closing arguments, warranting a new trial. After a thorough review of the facts and applicable case law, we affirm the Defendant's convictions but remand the case for entry of amended judgments merging counts two, three, and four into count one.

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

          J. Russell Pryor, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mario Donte Keene.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Dan E. Armstrong, District Attorney General; and Cecil Mills, Jr., and Ritchie Collins, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         On March 23, 2015, the Greene County Grand Jury charged the Defendant by presentment with the following offenses:

Count

Indicted Offense

One

First degree felony murder in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate a robbery

Two

First degree felony murder in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate a kidnapping

Three

First degree felony murder in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate a theft

Four

First degree felony murder in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate a burglary

Five

Especially aggravated robbery

Six

Especially aggravated kidnapping

         The State's Proof

         Amanda Harris, who was charged with felony murder for her participation in the victim's death, testified at trial that, prior to her participation in the offenses at issue, she was addicted to crack cocaine and Xanax. She stated that she had taken drugs since she was in the eighth grade and that she had previously been convicted of theft, domestic violence, and reckless endangerment with the use of a deadly weapon. Ms. Harris stated that she lost custody of two of her children because they were born with drugs in their systems. She explained that she met the victim, Donald Gunter, in early 2013 through a friend. She frequently spent the night at the victim's house and exchanged sexual favors for money or pills. Ms. Harris was aware that the victim had a bad eye, but she was not aware of his heart problems or other health conditions. Ms. Harris testified that she met the Defendant approximately two weeks before the offenses occurred, she was in a relationship with the Defendant, and they did drugs together. The Defendant knew that Ms. Harris obtained money from other men. She stated that the Defendant did not know the victim personally, but the Defendant knew that Ms. Harris could get money from the victim.

         On February 10, 2014, Ms. Harris and the Defendant were living at a motel when they ran out of drugs. She explained that she was "dope sick" and that her body hurt, she had cold chills, and she was agitated. She further explained that she needed to take Xanax or "roxies" to get rid of the "dope sick" feeling. They tried to contact Ms. Harris' family friend, Jerry Moore, to ask for money to purchase drugs, but they were unable to reach him. Ms. Harris and the Defendant drove in the Defendant's gold Cadillac to Mr. Moore's house; Ms. Harris knocked on his door, but he was not there. When Ms. Harris returned to the vehicle, the Defendant told her to call another man that she could get money from, so she called the victim. Ms. Harris told the victim that she was "dope sick" and needed drugs or money, and he agreed to meet her at a Sonoco gas station. Ms. Harris drove to the Sonoco with the Defendant in the back seat because she knew that, if the victim saw the Defendant, the victim would not give her money. Ms. Harris waited for the victim to arrive at the Sonoco for twenty to thirty minutes, but the victim did not arrive. Ms. Harris then drove to the victim's home with the Defendant still in the back seat. She stated that she planned to go into the victim's house, tell him that she was "dope sick, " and ask for money or pills. She noted that the Defendant always carried a knife and a "metal stick[] with a ball on the end of it" for his protection because he sold drugs.

         When Ms. Harris arrived at the victim's house, the victim came out onto his porch and smoked a cigarette with Ms. Harris. Ms. Harris told the victim that she was "dope sick, " and the victim gave her a pill. Ms. Harris and the victim attempted to have sex in the victim's living room but were unable. She stated that the victim wanted to give her money so that she could buy drugs, but he wanted her to come back and spend the night with him so that she "could pay sexual favors for the money that [she] was getting." She then went into the bathroom, smoked a cigarette, and texted the Defendant that she was "going to take the money out of [the victim's] pocket" and asked the Defendant to "text [her] back and say okay." She then informed the victim that she needed to leave to meet a friend to purchase drugs. Ms. Harris and the victim again attempted unsuccessfully to have sex, and Ms. Harris again went to the bathroom and texted the Defendant that she was "going to take [the victim's] wallet" but that the victim did not know what vehicle Ms. Harris had driven to his house, so the Defendant needed to "be ready[.]" The Defendant did not respond to either of her text messages. Ms. Harris returned to the victim's living room, and the victim offered to give her twenty dollars. Ms. Harris asked for more money, but the victim said that he was afraid that she would not return after she purchased drugs. Ms. Harris testified that the victim "had the money in his hand and [she] just grabbed the money out of his hand and [she] ran to the door."

         As Ms. Harris attempted to leave the victim's house, the victim grabbed her jacket and her hair. She slid on the welcome mat on the victim's porch, fell, and screamed. She stated that the Defendant appeared and hit the victim "somewhere in the face[]" with his "stick." The victim "staggered, " and the Defendant "grabbed [the victim] by the back of the shirt[.]" Ms. Harris got up, and the Defendant dragged the victim into the residence. Ms. Harris testified that the Defendant "put [the victim] down on the floor in the living room" and asked "What else does the motherf****r got that we can take[?]" Ms. Harris asked to go, but the Defendant "had his knee in between [the victim's] shoulder blades[.]" The Defendant asked Ms. Harris to get something that he could use to tie up the victim. Ms. Harris ran into the victim's bedroom and "grabbed [her] knife and [she] cut the string of the blinds[.]" She ran back into the living room, grabbed a blanket from the couch, and gave the blind string and blanket to the Defendant. The Defendant tied the victim's hands while Ms. Harris attempted to restrain the victim's feet. The Defendant hit the victim twice because the victim would not give the Defendant his hand. Ms. Harris stated that, when the Defendant got the victim's hands "looped up[, ]" the Defendant ran into the victim's bedroom while she ran out the front door. She looked for the victim's money that she dropped when the victim grabbed her, but she did not look for anything in the victim's house or attempt to stop the Defendant. The Defendant exited the victim's house with "a bag[.]" Ms. Harris then went back into the victim's house to cover the victim with a blanket because the victim did not have any clothing on and it was cold. Ms. Harris stated that the victim was lying face down when she last saw him.

         The Defendant drove away with Ms. Harris in the passenger seat. When Ms. Harris began to panic that they had possibly killed the victim, the Defendant stopped driving and told her to say nothing and forget that anything had happened. When they stopped on a bridge, the Defendant handed the victim's phone to Ms. Harris, and she broke it. She stated that the Defendant threw "cards and papers and that phone[]" off the bridge. Ms. Harris and the Defendant drove to an apartment complex where the Defendant used the money that Ms. Harris took from the victim to purchase drugs. The Defendant and Ms. Harris returned to their motel room and smoked crack. Ms. Harris noticed some blood on the top of the Defendant's left shoe and panicked, so she changed her clothing at the motel. The Defendant and Ms. Harris then drove to the Defendant's mother's residence, where the Defendant changed his clothing while Ms. Harris stayed in the vehicle. When the Defendant returned to the vehicle, he put "a little shoe box and a bag" in the back seat of the vehicle. The Defendant and Ms. Harris then drove to another bridge where she "threw the items off of that bridge."[1]

         The Defendant and Ms. Harris then returned to their motel room to do drugs, and the Defendant eventually fell asleep. Later, Ms. Harris took money to a friend's room, and she and the friend left the motel to purchase drugs. Ms. Harris and her friend returned to the friend's motel room and used the drugs that they had purchased. At some point, the Defendant knocked on the door of the friend's motel room and asked Ms. Harris to return to their room. Ms. Harris refused to leave and said, "What are you going to do, cut me and kill me, too[?]" In response, the Defendant cut Ms. Harris' jacket.

         At some point during the evening of February 11, the Defendant told Ms. Harris to call the police station to determine whether the police had taken out warrants against them. Ms. Harris refused to call the police station. At this time, the Defendant invented a story to tell the police about the events at the victim's house if they were questioned. The Defendant told Ms. Harris to say that the Defendant and Ms. Harris took a girl, "Jamie Jamison, " whom they met at a club, to the victim's house.

         At some point later, Ms. Harris' father picked her up, but she and her father were stopped by a detective. The detective transported Ms. Harris to the Greene County Sheriff's Department, where she gave two statements. In her first statement, she "gave them a story about Jamie Jamison[, ]" which she later admitted was a lie. Ms. Harris was charged with first degree felony murder. She pled guilty to second degree murder and received an agreed upon sentence of twenty-five years at 100% on the condition that she would testify truthfully at the Defendant's trial. Ms. Harris testified that she did not intend to kill the victim when she drove to his house. She also stated that she did not know what the Defendant intended to do before she drove to the victim's house.

         Tina Morgan testified that she lived on Old Mountain Road near the victim's residence. She explained that "[t]here was one house separating [her] house from [the victim's], but you couldn't see [the victim's house] for the woods." Ms. Morgan stated that she had known the victim her whole life and that in February 2014, she had been dating the victim for two years while he was separated from his spouse. She explained that the victim had cancer in one eye, which was sewn shut. The victim had also undergone a double hip replacement and open heart surgery, and he had a pacemaker with a defibrillator implanted. Ms. Morgan also noted that the victim had restless leg syndrome and "didn't have any balance." She stated that she saw the victim on February 10, 2014, when the victim came to her residence to give her a shirt. He was wearing "a regular button-up shirt, blue jeans[, ]" shoes, and a coat. The victim left her residence between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. Ms. Morgan attempted to call the victim the next morning between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. but was unable to reach him. Ms. Morgan became worried about the victim so she and another acquaintance drove to the victim's residence and observed the victim's vehicle in the driveway. Ms. Morgan walked up onto the victim's back porch and knocked on the door; when she opened the door, she saw the victim "laying in the floor . . . without any clothes." Ms. Morgan checked to see if the victim had a pulse and then called 911. She observed that the couch that the victim regularly slept on was "in disarray" and that the victim's "black and white leopard skin throw that was an electric blanket" was on the floor instead of the couch. Ms. Morgan saw that the victim's legs were tied with string from window blinds, which were missing from the victim's bedroom window. She noted that the victim always made up the bed in his bedroom, but she observed that the bed was "in disarray on one side like someone had flipped it up and [had] been [pillaging] through it and looking under things." Ms. Morgan also noted that the victim kept a baseball bat behind the back door for protection. As she left the victim's residence, Ms. Morgan observed a gold cross that she had given the victim laying on the front porch. She stated that the victim wore the cross daily.

         On cross-examination, Ms. Morgan stated that the victim had one phone and that his phone did not ring while he was at her house on the evening of February 10, 2014. She denied that the victim was a "kingpin at drugs" and asserted that the victim had worked and owned a trailer park to support himself and his family. However, she admitted that the victim "did sell drugs, the pain pills, . . . every now and then[.]" She stated that, early in her relationship with the victim, he told her that women had offered to have sex with him in exchange for pills, but she did not know if the victim actually exchanged pain pills for sex. Ms. Morgan acknowledged that people frequently came and went from the victim's residence, and she agreed that the majority of these individuals were younger women. She explained that people frequently came to the victim's house asking for a loan. Ms. Morgan stated that the victim "might have been on Plavix."

         Dr. Karen Cline-Parhamovich testified that she was formerly the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Tennessee. After the trial court declared Dr. Cline-

         Parhamovich an expert in the field of forensic pathology, she testified that she conducted an autopsy on the victim's body on February 12, 2014, and prepared a report that set out her findings and conclusions. Dr. Cline-Parhamovich stated that the victim was wearing only a shirt and two socks when she began her examination and that

his hands were tied tightly behind his back with an electrical cord, like a white electrical cord, and . . . there was a thinner cord that looked like it might be[] . . . from a mini blind[] . . . tied around part of his lower legs, and then he was hogtied because the . . . thin cord was attached to the ligatures that were around his hands and wrists.

         After she removed the ligatures, she noticed that the bindings had left "intersecting linear impressions that were consistent with the . . . electrical cord that [she] removed from . . . around [the victim's] hands." The victim also had contusions, or bruising around the ligature marks, which indicated that the victim was still alive when the marks formed.

         Dr. Cline-Parhamovich testified that the victim suffered a blunt-force injury to his head; the victim had some "irregular contusions" on his right forehead, some skin tears and partial skin avulsions on the right side of his nose, partial skin avulsions and abrasions around his right eye, a small contusion on his upper lip, and clusters of abrasions on the top of his head starting on the front and moving towards the back in a pattern. Dr. Cline-Parhamovich explained that "some of the [victim's] injuries caused bleeding on the inside surface between the scalp and the skull." The victim also had a "linear, horizontal, red abrasion" on the front of his neck. Dr. Cline-Parhamovich also observed a bruise on the victim's "middle upper chest" that "went deep to the underlying . . . subcutaneous tissue[.]" The victim had two fractured ribs and bleeding in the muscles between some of the ribs. Dr. Cline-Parhamovich stated that blunt-force trauma caused the victim's internal bleeding. She also observed two abrasions on top of the victim's defibrillator, an abrasion on the left side of the victim's chest and bleeding in the subcutaneous tissue under this abrasion.

         Dr. Cline-Parhamovich also identified contusions and abrasions on the victim's body. Dr. Cline-Parhamovich opined that the victim's patterned bruises on his left thigh and the top of his head were consistent with "a long cylindrical object." She examined the external surface of the victim's heart and observed that it was large, dilated, and "had a lot of scar tissue overlying it."[2] Dr. Cline-Parhamovich concluded that the victim "had very bad heart disease." She explained that, when an individual with a bad heart, like the victim, was in a stressful situation, the individual would "get a dump of stress hormones that [would] cause the blood pressure to rise . . . ." This increase in blood pressure in a heart with scar tissue "decreases the threshold for dangerous or fatal arrhythmias to occur." Dr. Cline-Parhamovich did not find any alcohol or drugs in the victim's blood or urine. She concluded that the manner of the victim's death was homicide. She also concluded that the victim underwent "a highly emotionally-charged event" and that the victim's death occurred after this "emotional response period." She explained that, in addition to the victim's bad heart, the victim's blunt-force injuries or his restrained position could have caused his death.

         On cross-examination, Dr. Cline-Parhamovich agreed that the victim's blunt force injuries alone did not cause the victim's death. She stated that, if the victim had sex in close proximity to his death, the act would have produced a similar "fight-or-flight response" in the victim. Dr. Cline-Parhamovich testified that the victim was not in active heart failure at the time of his death. She stated that an individual on Plavix with senile ecchymosis[3] had "an increased risk of bleeding due to any kind of trauma[.]" However, she stated that, in her professional experience, individuals who take blood thinners like Plavix normally experience more severe bruising than she observed on the victim.

         Melanie Carlisle testified that she worked as special agent forensic scientist and a Violent Crime Response Team leader with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ("TBI") at the Knoxville Crime Laboratory. Special Agent Carlisle worked with the Violent Crime Response Team on February 11, 2014, to process the crime scene at the victim's residence. When she arrived, the scene had previously been secured, so Special Agent Christopher Wilhoit walked Special Agent Carlisle through the crime scene. Special Agent Carlisle's team members then began documenting the scene. She stated that "[o]nce the outside was documented, [she] started looking for evidence outside near the back entrance of the house." She observed a firearm in a dresser drawer in the bedroom. Special Agent Carlisle and her team members used a "scanning station" to create a 3-D image of the crime scene; they also recorded videos of the crime scene. She observed that the victim was "laying in front of the TV[]" with his hands tied behind his back with a cord. The victim's feet were bound with a different kind of cord, and the victim was only wearing a shirt and socks. Special Agent Carlisle saw wounds on the right side of the victim's head, right arm, left ribs, knees, and legs. She noted that, when the victim's body was rolled over during the documentation process, a "little white tablet" fell from the victim's hand. Special Agent Carlisle found one house shoe near the victim and a matching house shoe on the porch. She also observed a zebra-print blanket next to the house shoe and the victim. Another agent located a cellular telephone underneath the cushions of the couch in the living room. Special Agent Carlisle found "reddish-brown stains" on the porch of the victim's house that "were presumptively positive for blood." She also documented "mud traces on the floors" that were possibly shoe impressions; however, she was not able to observe much detail from the "traces" to use for comparison analysis at the TBI laboratory. Special Agent Carlisle also found a gold cross pendant on the victim's porch.

         On cross-examination, Special Agent Carlisle testified that she observed areas in the victim's house that had "disturbances in [the] dust or [when] there were no disturbances in [the] dust." She explained that:

except for the living room, the kitchen, and the master bathroom, all of the rooms were dusty including the hardwood floors and any disturbances of the dust on furniture or flooring had another layer of dust, which means if there was a disturbance and something had gotten moved, it had been moved or disturbed prior where it had time to have another layer of dust on top of it.

         Special Agent Carlisle observed a baseball bat "at the back living room" of the victim's residence; she did not find a baseball bat near the front door or any sign that one had recently been removed from that area.

         Chris Wilhoit testified that, on February 11, 2014, he was a Special Agent with the TBI and that he investigated the victim's death. Special Agent Wilhoit testified that he did not observe a firearm in the victim's residence. He agreed that a firearm would be a "tool of the trade" for an individual who distributed illegal drugs.

         Investigator James Randolph testified that he worked for the Greene County Sheriff's Department and that he investigated the victim's death in February 2014. He looked for the victim's cell phone on Jones Bridge Road, where it had last "pinged." He did not locate the cell phone, but he obtained the victim's cell phone records. Investigator Randolph called the phone number that had last been dialed on the victim's phone and spoke with "Mike Smith." Mr. Smith told Investigator Randolph that "Jamie Jamison" had called him from the victim's phone. Investigator Randolph called the number again two hours later, and the same individual answered the phone but stated his name was "Mario." Investigator Randolph asked this individual, who was later determined to be the Defendant, to come to the Greene County Sheriff's Department. The Defendant came to the Sheriff's Department on February 12, 2014. Investigator Randolph informed the Defendant of his Miranda rights, and the Defendant gave the following statement:

Jamie Jamison called and wanted [a] ride . . . from her grandpa's in Camp Creek. I told her no. [Ms. Harris] said Jamie came to the room and [Ms. Harris] took her back to her grandpa's in Camp Creek. [Ms. Harris] said she let Jamie out and she went inside. [Ms. Harris] said she had to go to the bathroom and went inside and came back to the car. [Ms. Harris] called and asked why she was taking so long. Jamie said she had to get his wallet. [Ms. Harris] was blowing the horn and she drove off and left Jamie there. I was at Green Villa Motel when Jamie called me at 12:14 a.m. on February the 11th. [Ms.] Harris was with me in the room. When I went to bed [Ms. Harris] was in the bathroom putting on makeup. When I woke up between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. [Ms. Harris] was . . . putting on eye shadow and makeup. The battery in my phone went dead after that. I did not take [Ms. Harris] to [the victim's] house in Camp Creek nor do I know [the victim].

         The Defendant signed the statement. After the Sheriff's Department interviewed Ms. Harris, Investigator Randolph interviewed the Defendant again, and the Defendant gave the following second statement:

On February 11th, 2014, me and [Ms.] Harris went to [the victim's] residence at Camp Creek to get some money to buy crack. [Ms. Harris] was driving my car, a gold Cadillac, I was lying in the back seat, and we was supposed to meet him at the service station but he didn't show up. She was driving when she told me to lay down in the back seat so he couldn't see me. She said if he sees you he won't give me any money. [Ms. Harris] left the car running and went inside and text[ed] my phone and asked if I knew where to buy some crack. I told her you know where to get it. She was in the house a while and I heard her screaming and [the victim] had her down on the back porch. I pushed him off of her back into the living room. I was holding him down on the floor and he was telling us to stop and don't do this. I told [Ms. Harris] to get something to tie him up. [Ms. Harris] came out of the bedroom with a Venetian blind. There was an electric blanket and I cut the cord and wrapped his hands. I used my pocketknife to cut the cord. He was alive when we left. [Ms. Harris] took his pants, cell phone, wallet and took the items to the bridge on Jones Bridge Road. I was driving and [Ms. Harris] got out and threw the items off the bridge. We went back to the motel after that. The stuff was in a plastic bag that she threw in the [r]iver.

         The Defendant also signed this statement. Investigator Randolph confiscated a pocketknife from the Defendant after the interview. Investigator Randolph then went to Byrds Bridge to look for items that the Defendant or Ms. Harris had thrown off the bridge. He recovered Ms. Harris' jacket and the victim's insurance card from the river at Byrds Bridge.

         Special Agent Kim Lowe testified that she "process[ed] evidence for the presence of biological fluids[]" for the TBI in the forensic biology unit at the Knoxville Crime Laboratory. Special Agent Lowe identified the victim's blood swatch and DNA profile that she used for comparison purposes. Special Agent Lowe also obtained buccal swabs and DNA profiles from Ms. Harris and the Defendant for comparison purposes. Special Agent Lowe tested a zebra-print electric blanket from the victim's residence for human blood and found the victim's blood on the blanket. She also tested swabs from a shoe print found at the crime scene for human blood and found the victim's blood on the swabs. Special Agent Lowe tested swabs from a "reddish-brown stain" on the floor of the victim's residence, and the "partial DNA profile" matched Ms. Harris. She also tested swabs from the victim's porch and found the victim's blood on the swab. Special Agent Lowe tested the ligatures from the victim's wrists and legs, and she found the victim's blood on the "fabric cord[.]" She found a partial DNA profile on the "electrical cord" from at least three people; the victim was the major contributor to the DNA profile, and Ms. Harris and the Defendant were excluded as minor contributors.

         Special Agent Lowe also tested six pairs of Nike shoes from the Defendant's residence; her testing of a pair of Nike Air Max shoes presumptively indicated the presence of blood. She was unable to test for human hemoglobin on this pair of shoes due to a limited sample, but she tested the shoes for DNA. The partial DNA profile from the shoes matched the Defendant. The victim was excluded as a contributor to the DNA profile.

         The Defendant's Proof

         Special Agent Miranda Gattis testified that she was a forensic scientist with the forensic services division of the TBI; she worked in the trace evidence unit in the Nashville Crime Laboratory. Special Agent Gattis tested numerous pieces of evidence related to this case. She compared the gel impressions taken at the crime scene to various shoes owned by the Defendant; however, none of the shoes matched the gel impression from the victim's residence.

         Special Agent Jennifer Spivey testified that she was a forensic scientist in the latent print unit at the TBI Nashville Crime Laboratory. She tested the blinds from the victim's residence, but she was unable to find any fingerprints.

         Jerry Moore testified that he had known Ms. Harris since she was nine years old. He stated that Ms. Harris began occasionally asking him for money approximately five years before the offenses. The Greene County Sheriff's Department interviewed Mr. Moore in relation to the current offenses, and he gave a signed statement. However, he clarified that the statement incorrectly mentioned that he had last seen Ms. Harris on February 11, 2014. He testified that he actually saw Ms. Harris on February 10, 2014. On cross-examination, Mr. Moore identified some bank receipts that he gave to a detective during his interview. He agreed that the receipts showed that he had withdrawn money on February 10 and February 11, 2014.

         Nicole Dixon testified that she had known the Defendant for seven years and that she was formerly the Defendant's girlfriend. She testified that the Defendant was never violent around her. She stated that, when she and the Defendant began dating, she had recently been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. The Defendant supported her during her recovery period. The Defendant lost an arm during their relationship, and Ms. Dixon helped the Defendant during his rehabilitation. On cross-examination, Ms. Dixon stated that she was not in a relationship with the Defendant during February 2014.

         The jury found the Defendant guilty as charged. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to life for his four convictions of felony murder and ordered sentences of twenty-five years for his especially aggravated robbery and especially aggravated kidnapping convictions. The trial court ordered all the Defendant's sentences to be served concurrently. The trial court denied the Defendant's motion for new trial, and the Defendant now timely appeals the trial court's decision.

         II. Analysis

         The Defendant argues that the evidence at trial was insufficient for a rational juror to have found him guilty of felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and especially aggravated kidnapping beyond a reasonable doubt. He also argues that the State ...


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