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State v. Vest

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 30, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
GRADY ALTON VEST

          Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Henderson County Nos. 17043-2, 17064-2 Donald H. Allen, Judge

         Defendant, Grady Alton Vest, was indicted by the Henderson County Grand Jury for four counts of rape of a child and four counts of incest. Defendant was convicted as charged following a jury trial. The trial court sentenced Defendant to 33 years for each rape of a child conviction and five years for each incest conviction, with two of his 33-year sentences to run consecutively, for a total effective sentence of 66 years' incarceration. In this appeal as of right, Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions, and his effective sentence is excessive. Following our review of the entire record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Michael Thorne, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Grady Alton Vest.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Angela R. Scott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, JUDGE

         Evidence presented at trial

         The victim of the offenses in this case is Defendant's daughter, to whom we will refer by her initials, A.V. Dr. Lisa Piercey, the medical director of the Madison County Child Advocacy Center, testified that she examined A.V. Dr. Piercy testified that she asked A.V. why she was there to see her, and A.V. replied, "My dad, [Defendant], has been doing stuff to me for a long time." Dr. Piercey testified,

. . . . she said that she remembered the first time that it had happened, she was six years old and that [Defendant] "started talking to [her] about it and showed [her] his parts."
And she said that type of behavior went on for a couple of years until she was eight years old and then she said, "He started making [her] suck his stuff and then he touched [her] in [her] bad part with his hand and with his bad part."
And when children talk about being touched, I typically ask them, what did that feel like or what do you remember about that, and she said that she remembers that "the first couple of times that he put his bad part inside [her], [her] bad part bled. [She] fe[l]l asleep in the tub afterwards," she thought it was around 2 a.m., "and woke up with the water all bloody."
And then she went on to say, "white stuff would come out of his bad part, and it would go on the bed, on the floor, and one time in [her] mouth." I asked her about a condom. Most 11-year[-]olds don't know what that is or some of them don't, and so, we talked about any kind of lotion or covering or anything on his private, and she denied that he had ever put anything like that on there.
She did relay that the most recent incident prior to when I saw her was two weeks, so I saw her on March 4th, so maybe around mid to late February, 2016, and she said that they had really gone down, and these are my words not her['s], she described that they had gone down in frequency over the last couple of years. She said that "they happened about every other day until [they] moved in with [her step-mother] and then it only has happened twice since [they had] been at her house."

         Also during the interview, A.V. recalled that Defendant choked her once "because [she] refused to do it." A.V. also described an incident that happened when she was in third grade when Defendant made her "suck one of his friend's, Randall's, things." Defendant told A.V., "he'd choke me until I died if I didn't." Dr. Piercey testified that A.V. told her that in August, 2014, Defendant video recorded her "sucking his thing on his cellphone, ...


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