Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session: May 29, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 294649 Barry
A. Steelman, Judge
Defendant, Anthony T. Tollis, entered a plea of nolo
contendre to sexual exploitation of a minor. The Defendant
reserved a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee
Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2) as to whether the search
of the Defendant's computer was lawful based on the
search warrant. After a thorough review of the record and
relevant authorities, we affirm the trial court's
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
A. Little, Deputy Public Defender; Ted Engel and Victoria L.
Smith, Assistant Public Defenders, Chattanooga, Tennessee,
for the appellant, Anthony T. Tollis.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M.
Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Neal Pinkston,
District Attorney General; and Leslie A. Longshore, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which John Everett Williams, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway,
Jr., J., joined.
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE
case arises from the discovery of sexual images of minors
stored on the Defendant's home computer. Based on
information received from a family member staying at the
Defendant's home for a few days, law enforcement sought
and obtained a search warrant for the Defendant's
computer. Investigators subsequently searched the
Defendant's computer and found images of underage nude
girls. For this conduct, a Hamilton County grand jury
indicted the Defendant for one count of sexual exploitation
of a minor and two counts of aggravated sexual exploitation
of a minor.
Motion to Suppress
Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained
during the search of his computer, contending that the search
warrant authorizing the search was not based on sufficient
probable cause. The affidavit in support of the search
warrant and the warrant itself were attached to the motion.
The facts contained in the affidavit in support of the search
warrant were as follows:
On December 5, 2014, Mr. James Tollise went to visit his
uncle, [the Defendant], at his residence located [in Hamilton
The [Defendant's] residence . . . is more particularly
described as a brick duplex with a brown roof. [The
Defendant] resides on the left side of the duplex when
viewing the duplex from [the street], which is the side
located closest to the driveway.
Mr. James Tollise stated that his uncle, [the Defendant],
made statements to him about wanting to fulfil[l] [the
Defendant's] sexual fantasy about being with a teenage
girl. Mr. James Tollise stated that this statement made him
suspicious about incidents and statements that have happened
in the past.
On December 6, 2014, Mr. James Tollise got on [the
Defendant's] computer around [7:00 a.m.].
Mr. James Tollise stated that [the Defendant's] computer
was located on a glass desk directly in front of the front
door of [the residence]. [Mr. James Tollise] further
described the computer as a "custom built" computer
with the sides off for ventilation.
Mr. James Tollise stated that he clicked on the "My
Photos" icon and saw at least fifteen (15) ...