Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Lake County No. 17-CR-10395 R. Lee
Moore, Jr., Judge.
Defendant, Septian Jamarquis Valentine, was charged with two
counts of rape. See Tenn. Code Ann. §
39-13-503. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was found
not guilty on count one and guilty on count two and sentenced
to fourteen years incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant
contends that error exists because (1) the trial court did
not allow Lisa Garrett to testify about the Defendant's
negative chlamydia test performed one year after the
incident; (2) the evidence was insufficient to convict the
Defendant; and (3) a juror, who was "not truthful"
during voir dire, "bullied" others into convicting
the Defendant. Following our review, we affirm the judgment
of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Boyd, Tiptonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Septian
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Danny H.
Goodman, Jr., District Attorney General; and Lance Webb,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Thomas T. Woodall, JJ.,
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
Defendant was charged with the rape of two individuals, M.D.
and A.G. Following a trial, the Defendant was
convicted of raping A.G. but was acquitted of raping M.D.
March 21, 2018, trial commenced with voir dire examination.
Upon the State's asking if anyone was a friend of the
Defendant's family, potential juror Rhonda Battee raised
her hand. Ms. Battee assured the prosecutor that although she
knew the Defendant's grandmother and mother and had
worked with the Defendant's aunt, she had no reason to
give the Defendant's testimony greater or lesser weight.
Soon after, Ms. Battee informed the prosecutor that she knew
Ashley Kimmons, a witness for the State. Ms. Kimmons was Ms.
Battee's former sister-in-law. Ms. Battee said she had no
reason to believe she would give Ms. Kimmons' testimony
any greater or lesser weight because of this former
State called Shawntel Taylor to testify. In the early morning
hours of April 2, 2017, Mr. Taylor saw the Defendant at
Garage Bar, a local Tiptonville establishment. At some point
in the evening, he saw M.D. and A.G. outside of the bar. He
spoke to both women, noting that A.G. "was kind of
drunk." While outside of the bar, he heard the Defendant
yell at M.D. to stop the car she was driving and saw the
Defendant get in the car.
cross examination, Mr. Taylor explained that he had
previously had a relationship with M.D. and that she was
upset on the night of April 2 because he had brought his new
girlfriend to the bar. M.D. cried in front of Mr. Taylor that
testified on direct examination that she went to Garage Bar
with A.G. on the night of April 1, 2017. M.D. saw the
Defendant at Garage Bar the same night. She admitted to
drinking alcohol, but she could not recall specifically how
much she had to drink. She mentioned that the Defendant
"was flashing all his money in the air and [she] just
grabbed it" to be funny. She denied dancing with the
Defendant and relayed that he offered to buy her a drink
"[e]very time he seen [sic] [her]." M.D. accepted
the Defendant's last offer for a drink, but she handed it
to another patron when she was served. She did not consume
the drink. She denied flirting with or encouraging the
did not recall A.G.'s indicating that she felt unwell at
the bar. However, after both women exited the bar, A.G. could
not drive her car "because she was drunk, throwing up
all in the car." M.D. drove the car. M.D. testified that
the Defendant "jump[ed] in the car" and eventually
reached over the driver's seat "trying to touch
[M.D.'s] private" and she told him to stop.
questioned about why she did not drop the Defendant off at
his intended destination, she responded that she was worried
she would be pulled over by a policeman, so she decided to
take A.G. home first. A.G. threw up a second time in the car
before reaching her apartment.
reaching A.G.'s apartment, M.D. handed keys to the
Defendant, and he "said he was going to go unlock the
door." A.G. could not walk on her own and was helped
inside by M.D. Once inside, A.G. was "passed out"
on the living room floor, and M.D. began calling friends for
a ride home. The Defendant also entered the apartment.
Defendant was standing in front of the coffee table and
wanted M.D. to "help him count his money." She
refused and continued to call friends. A.G. did not wake up
during this time. M.D. fell asleep at some point and was
awakened by the Defendant on top of her. Her leggings were
pulled down to her knees and her legs were in the air. The
Defendant's penis was in her vagina. She shoved the
Defendant off of her and he pushed himself back on top of her
again. She kicked the Defendant and ran out of the apartment.
The Defendant followed her.
called her sister as she was running down Cherry Street. Her
sister called the police and drove to retrieve M.D. M.D.
denied flirting with, kissing, or making sexual advances
toward the Defendant. She denied any previous relationship
with the Defendant. She said she was concerned about A.G.,
who was still asleep on the floor when she ran from the
officers' arriving at M.D.'s sister's residence,
M.D. said she was worried about A.G. Officer Glidewell
instructed her to have a rape kit examination. She was
escorted to the local hospital by Officer Warren Douglas to
have a rape kit examination performed. She met with a sexual
abuse nurse examiner, who examined her pelvis and collected
several swabs. She confirmed that she gave a statement to
Officer Glidewell and testified at the preliminary hearing.
cross-examination, M.D. testified that she observed A.G.
consume a large amount of alcohol. She confirmed that she did
not call 911 upon leaving the apartment. Although M.D.
acknowledged that she wrote a statement on April 2, 2017, she
denied that a statement shown to her by defense counsel was
hers. M.D. identified her signature at the end of the
statement, however. She denied the written statement's
contents that she and the Defendant "laid down on the
couch" together. She indicated that the hand- written
statement was actually her sister's handwriting. M.D.
recalled that at the preliminary hearing, she accused the
Defendant of giving her chlamydia because the sexual abuse
nurse examiner had informed her that she tested positive for
the sexually transmitted disease.
Howard, M.D.'s sister, testified that on April 2, 2017,
she received a call from M.D. M.D. was "crying, very
upset, and just asking [Ms. Howard] to come get [M.D.]."
Upon picking up M.D., Ms. Howard placed a call to the Lake
County Sheriff's Department because M.D. told her that
she had been raped by the Defendant. Ms. Howard identified
the hand-written statement previously shown to M.D. as being
M.D.'s handwriting with her signature.
testified that she had known the Defendant some eight or nine
years but could not recall seeing the Defendant on the night
of April 1, 2017. She could not remember getting sick that
night. She believed that someone "did something" to
one of her drinks. She did not remember agreeing to sexual
testified that on April 2, 2017, she was given a rape
examination at the local hospital, was prescribed a
"Plan B" pill, and was treated for chlamydia. She
denied having a relationship with the Defendant, but she
confirmed that the two had engaged in "sexual
relations" once before. At the preliminary hearing, A.G.
had denied having any sort of "sexual relationship"
with the Defendant, but she claimed that she had
misunderstood the question.
cross-examination, A.G. testified that her blood alcohol
level "was way beyond the legal limit" on the night
of the incident. When questioned about giving consent to the
Defendant to have sex, A.G. replied, "I did not give
consent for anything… I was unconscious… There
was no way I could [sic] say yes or no."
State's next witness, Johnny Parson, testified that he
worked at Garage Bar in April 2017 and knew M.D. and A.G.
After the bar closed in the early morning hours of April 2,
2017, Mr. Parson visited Ms. Howard's house where he