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State v. Boyle

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

September 26, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
TONY F. BOYLE

          Assigned on Briefs September 4, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 18-700 Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge.

         Following a trial, a Madison County jury convicted Defendant, Tony F. Boyle, of driving under the influence (DUI). The trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days, which was suspended to community corrections supervision following the service of thirty days in jail. On appeal, Defendant contends that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. Following a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          George Morton Googe, District Public Defender, and Jeremy B. Epperson, Assistant District Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tony F. Boyle.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jody Pickens, District Attorney General; and Eric Wood, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         State's Proof

         Officer Kenneth Shell of the Jackson Police Department testified that he was on patrol on the evening of November 24, 2017, when he was dispatched to the area of Carruthers Drive and Scallion Street in Madison County. The dispatcher advised that an eighteen-wheel truck struck a fire hydrant and was blocking the intersection. Officer Shell recalled that, when he arrived, he saw that the truck's trailer was "kind of caddy-corner between the two streets . . . and water [was] everywhere from the fire hydrant." Officer Shell spoke to the driver of the truck, Defendant, who was still sitting in the driver's seat. Officer Shell testified that Defendant smelled of alcohol and that his speech was slurred. Officer Shell asked for Defendant's driver's license and noticed that Defendant had trouble locating the license. Defendant kept going between his wallet and some paperwork, and Officer Shell had to ask Defendant several times for his driver's license.

         After Defendant located his driver's license and provided it to Officer Shell, Officer Shell asked Defendant to get out of the truck. When Defendant complied, Officer Shell noticed that Defendant was unstable on his feet. Defendant told Officer Shell that he was coming from a relative's house and was trying to get back out on the road for work. Officer Shell testified that Defendant had been unable to make the turn at the intersection. Officer Shell explained that once additional officers arrived, he began directing traffic, and he called a tow company. Officer Shell agreed that he did not see any alcohol in the truck.

         Officer William Lewis of the Jackson Police Department testified that he had training in DUI enforcement, including "one solid week in the academy for standardized field sobriety tests[.]" He recalled that, on November 24, 2017, he was on patrol when he was dispatched to the intersection of Scallion and Carruthers around 5:50 p.m. When he arrived, Officer Lewis spoke to Officer Shell, who reported that Defendant's speech was slurred. Officer Lewis approached Defendant, who was still sitting in the driver's seat. Officer Lewis could smell an odor of alcohol coming from inside the truck and noted that Defendant spoke with slurred speech. Officer Lewis stated that he wore a body camera during his interaction with Defendant that evening; he identified a DVD containing the body camera footage, and it was admitted as an exhibit to his testimony.

         Officer Lewis found a flat area near the passenger side of the truck to conduct field sobriety tests. Officer Lewis asked Defendant to get out of the truck to perform the tests. Officer Lewis testified that Defendant had problems following his instructions and that he had to repeat instructions several times. Officer Lewis first instructed Defendant to put his arms to his sides, but Defendant put his hands in his pockets. Officer Lewis asked Defendant to stare at and follow the tip of his finger with just his eyes. Officer Lewis recalled, however, that Defendant would not follow his finger and that ...


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