Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Ellis

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 31, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ROY LEE ELLIS

          Session November 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Carroll County No. 2016-CR-87 Donald E. Parish, Judge

         The Carroll County Grand Jury issued a five-count indictment in Case No. 2015-CR-8, charging Roy Lee Ellis ("the Defendant") with especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, aggravated assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft of services. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was found guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia but was acquitted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, and aggravated assault of A.H., [1] an adult female. The theft of services count was not presented to the jury. Based on video images captured from one of the Defendant's cellular phones during the police investigation into Case No. 2015-CR-8, the State also obtained an indictment of the Defendant for two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in Case No. 2016-CR-87. The Defendant filed a "Motion to Quash Indictment Because [o]f Misjoinder and/or Double Jeopardy" ("the Motion").[2] Following a hearing on the motion, the trial court found that the State violated the mandatory joinder requirement of Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a) and dismissed the indictment, and the State appealed. Because the two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor were not "based on the same conduct" nor did they "arise from the same criminal episode" as the offenses for which the Defendant was tried, we reverse the trial court, reinstate the indictment in Case No. 2016-CR-87, and remand for further proceedings.

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

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Matthew F. Stowe, District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

          Benjamin S. Dempsey, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Roy Lee Ellis.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE

         Facts and Procedural History of Case No. 2015-CR-8

         A.H. filed a complaint with the Bruceton Police Department (BPD) on September 5, 2014, claiming that the Defendant kidnapped, assaulted, and raped her at his home on September 2, 2014. A.H. told the authorities that, in an effort to induce her into having sex, the Defendant showed her videos on his cellular phone "of him having sex with girls." She was worried that the Defendant had filmed her during the September 2 incident.

         On September 5, 2014, BPD officers executed a search warrant at the Defendant's residence and seized as evidence one Samsung Android cellular phone, one ZTE Android cellular phone, and one Samsung feature cellular phone. On September 6, 2014, the Defendant was arrested. On September 16, 2014, a second search warrant was issued to search the three cellular phones. On September 30, 2014, the cellular phones were sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for analysis.

         On January 5, 2015, the Carroll County Grand Jury issued a five-count indictment charging the Defendant with especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, aggravated assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft of services in Case No. 2015-CR-8.

         On March 30, 2015, the TBI issued its report and delivered video images and photographs captured from the cellular phones to the district attorney general's office.[3]

          The jury trial in Case No. 2015-CR-8 began on January 19, 2016, and the verdict was returned on January 21, 2016. The State sought to introduce two photographs of sexual acts captured from the Defendant's cellular phone. The State asserted that one of the photographs showed forced oral sex, but the Defendant claimed that the photograph showed consensual oral sex by his wife. Following a 404(b) hearing, the trial court excluded introduction of the two photographs.[4] The Defendant testified that his sexual interaction with A.H. on September 2, 2014, was consensual. The jury found the Defendant guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia and not guilty of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, aggravated assault, and all lesser-included offenses.

         Facts and Procedural History of Case No. 2016-CR-87

         On September 7, 2016, the Carroll County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant in Case No. 2016-CR-87 on two counts of "knowingly possess[ing] material that includes a minor engaged in sexual activity, thereby committing the offense of sexual exploitation of a minor, in violation of T.C.A. §39-17-1003(a)(1)." The indictment avers that both offenses occurred on or before September 2, 2014. The two images were included in the evidence captured from the Defendant's cellular phones, which was delivered to the district attorney general's office on March 30, 2015.

         In January of 2017, the Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the indictment claiming:

When a defendant has been acquitted, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment guarantees that the government will not be permitted to make repeated attempts to convict the defendant. So long as the acquittal involves a resolution, correct or not, of some or all of the factual elements of the offense charged, a final verdict of acquittal bars a subsequent indictment or prosecution for the same offense. Also, the Tennessee Constitution prohibits misjoinder and double jeopardy. See[] Tenn. Const. art. I, section 10; State v. Denton, 938 S.W.2d 373 (Tenn. 1996) and State v. Winningham, 958 S.W.2d 740 (Tenn. 1997).

          The State filed a response to the motion stating that the cellular phones were delivered to the TBI on September 30, 2014, and that on March 30, 2015, "the TBI issued a detailed report along with a disc that captured certain videos and images that were located on the electronic media that was analyzed by the TBI."

         The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion on February 17, 2017. No testimony was presented. The parties stipulated that the district attorney general's office received the materials captured from the Defendant's cellular phones, which include the two images that led to the sexual exploitation of a minor indictment, on March 30, 2015. The "discovery packet" provided by the State to the Defendant in the sexual exploitation case was marked and filed as an exhibit at the hearing. The packet included:

         (1)a "Receipt of Discovery" in Case No. 2016-CR-87 received by counsel for the Defendant on December 6, 2016, stating that provided are "68 pages plus [Defendant's] trial testimony 2 - 95" and "1 CD[, ] 2 Photographs that were recovered from an examination of Defendant's electronic devices by the TBI";

         (2)the written statement of A.H. in Case No. 2016-CR-87;

         (3)the September 6, 2014 written statement of the Defendant;

         (4) the September 5, 2014 search warrant affidavit and search warrant to search the Defendant's residence;

         (5)the September 16, 2014 search warrant affidavit and search warrant to search the three cellular phones recovered from the Defendant's residence;

         (6) BPD's request to the TBI seeking examination of the three cellular phones obtained during the execution of the search warrant on the Defendant's home;

         (7) the September 23, 2014 letter from the district attorney general to the TBI requesting an examination of "stored communications, records, files, directories, call logs, photos, videos and text messages";

         (8) the September 30, 2014 TBI form acknowledging receipt of the three cellular phones;

         (9)the March 30, 2015 TBI report;

          (10) the transcript of the Defendant's January 21, 2016 jury trial testimony;[5]

         (11) the March 10, 2016 letter from the district attorney general to the Interstate Crimes Against Children Task Force with photographs enclosed stating that "[t]here are thousands of additional pornographic images that may involve children available on a CD" and seeking "your opinion as to whether you deem these photographs to be child ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.