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State v. McCaleb

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 1, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
QUINTIS MCCALEB

          Session April 24, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 294000 Barry A. Steelman, Judge

         The State, pursuant to Rule 9 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, appeals the trial court's grant of Defendant's motion to suppress inculpatory statements made during his post-polygraph interview. The trial court found that the statements were voluntary but determined that they were inadmissible under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 403 because Defendant would be required to reference the polygraph examination to provide context for Defendant's statements made during the post-polygraph interview. Concluding that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding the statements, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         Tenn. R. App. R. 9 Interlocutory Appeal; Judgment of the Criminal Court Reversed and Remanded

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General; and Leslie Ann Longshore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

          Steve E. Smith, District Public Defender, and Joseph Lodato, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellee, Quintis McCaleb.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Defendant, Quintis McCaleb, agreed to take a polygraph examination while facing allegations of sexual contact with the victim, Defendant's minor relative. Sergeant Malcolm Kennemore of the Chattanooga Police Department conducted a polygraph examination on Defendant. Before the polygraph examination was administered, Defendant told Sergeant Malcolm Kennemore that he had been subjected to inappropriate sexual contact as a child. He stated that whoever had sexual contact with the victim in this case must have gone through something similar in the past. However, Defendant maintained that he did not engage in any sexual contact with the victim. Still prior to the polygraph, Sergeant Kennemore confronted Defendant with the specific allegations made against him, and Defendant denied that the allegations occurred. Defendant claimed that he was sick on the day of the alleged crime, and the only time that the victim came into his room was to retrieve her dog. Defendant claimed that "somehow" on the day of the alleged crime, the victim told her father and mother that he "touched her and did all that extra stuff with her." Throughout the polygraph examination, Defendant denied the allegations against him.

         Immediately after the polygraph examination and under questioning by the Sergeant Kennemore, Defendant broke down and admitted to the allegations during the post-polygraph interview. The examination machinery was removed from Defendant, but while seated in the same chair as he was during the examination, Defendant was faced with the results of the polygraph examination and many pointed and accusatory questions by Sergeant Kennemore. The following are just some of the references to the polygraph examination made during the post-polygraph interview:

I'm going through the polygraph charts, evaluating them, and it's obvious that something happened with you and her. . . . But it's obvious that some kind of contact like this happened with you and her.
When I asked you those questions specifically about, like "Did you touch her bare vagina?" "Did she touch your bare penis?" It's obvious there's something happening there, that something occurred with that, so I'm going to help you through this. We'll work this out, okay?
. . .
I sit here and do these polygraph exams every day, so I've had circumstances and situations just like this on many times, all right?
. . .
There are some people that come in here that talk to me [that] I do polygraphs with who they [sic] are ...

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