Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session September 25, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 106715 Steven
Wayne Sword, Judge
County jury convicted the Defendant, Buford Trammell, of six
counts of rape, three counts of statutory rape by an
authority figure, one count of solicitation of a minor, one
count of casual exchange of a controlled substance, and one
count of sexual battery by an authority figure. After merging
the appropriate convictions, the trial court ordered an
effective sentence of twenty years in the Tennessee
Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts
that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the jury's
verdict and that the trial court erred when it imposed
consecutive sentences. After review, we affirm the trial
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Jonathan P.
Harwell (on appeal), Assistant Public Defender, Knoxville,
Tennessee, and Michael G. Hatmaker (at trial), Jacksboro,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Buford E. Trammell.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Charme
P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Joan S. Stewart, and
Rachel D. Russell, Assistant District Attorneys General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ.,
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.
case arises from the Defendant's sexual contact with a
minor. A Knox County grand jury indicted the Defendant for
six counts of rape, three counts of statutory rape by an
authority figure, two counts of solicitation of a minor, one
count of casual exchange of a controlled substance, one count
of sexual battery by an authority figure, and one count of
attempted casual exchange of morphine. At trial, the parties
presented the following evidence: The seventeen-year old
victim identified the Defendant as her "rapist."
The victim said that she had first met the Defendant at the
age of four when her mother and the Defendant began dating
and that the Defendant assumed a parental role with her.
victim testified that the Defendant and her mother ended
their relationship when the victim was in the sixth grade;
however, the Defendant maintained a relationship and role in
the victim's life. The victim spent weekends with the
Defendant during which he would feed and "take
care" of her. He provided some financial support as
well, buying her clothes and school supplies. About the
Defendant, the victim stated, "He was like a dad."
victim testified that on November 24, 2014, she drove the
Defendant to Cookeville, Tennessee, as she did every month,
for a doctor appointment. On the drive back, the Defendant
repeatedly offered the victim "Percocet." The
victim declined, but the Defendant persisted. The Defendant
had an appointment for an MRI the following day in Knoxville,
so the victim and the Defendant stayed in a hotel in the
Knoxville area. After checking in to room 217 at the hotel,
the Defendant and the victim drove to a nearby Walmart to buy
clothing and toiletries for their stay because the decision
to get a hotel room in Knoxville had been "spur of the
moment." Once back in the room, they ordered pizza. The
Defendant helped the victim dye her hair before he again
began to offer the victim "Percocet." The victim
acknowledged that the Defendant had given her
"Percocet" "in the past" and that she had
taken "[j]ust 10s."
victim testified that the Defendant continued to
"pester" her and finally she "gave in"
because she could not "take it anymore." As the
victim prepared to take the "Percocet," the
Defendant told the victim to "snort it." The
Defendant watched as the victim snorted the "first
one," and then they sat and talked while watching
television. The Defendant offered the victim a second
"Percocet," and the victim declined. When the
Defendant offered again, the victim said that she "just
went ahead and done it." The victim described the
"Percocet" pill as a blue "30" and said
that the Defendant obtained the pills from the doctor's
office in Cookeville. She said that she used a rolled up
piece of paper to snort the "Percocet."
victim testified that she had a cell phone that one of her
mother's friends had given her. If she had internet
access, she could use the phone to send text messages;
however, she could not make phone calls with the cell phone.
The victim recalled that she and the Defendant were lying on
the bed in the hotel room when he sent her a text message
that read, "Show me, LOL." The victim identified a
copy of the text messaging that occurred between the
Defendant and her that night. The victim recalled asking the
Defendant what the message meant, and he told her that he was
referring to her breasts. The following text message exchange
The victim: Uhhhhh no
The Defendant: Say What???
The Defendant: Wrong wrong wrong.!!!!
The victim: Shut up and go to bed!
The Defendant: I'm n bed answer me beautiful….
The victim: Go to sleep!
The Defendant: I will when you answer me NOW go
The victim: I said no!!!!
victim testified that by this point in the evening, she was
feeling tired due to the "Percocet." When asked if
she fell asleep, the victim responded, "I thought I did
until . . . I remember waking up or I guess coming to, and I
was on top of him in the 69 position." She stated that
when she realized what was occurring, she "got off of
him and went to bed." The victim confirmed that the