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State v. Cameron

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

January 15, 2020

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ROBERT D. CAMERON, III

          Session December 11, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. 75CC1-2017-CR-77794 David M. Bragg, Judge

         Following a bench trial, Robert D. Cameron, III, Defendant, was convicted of driving under the influence ("DUI") and DUI per se. On appeal, Defendant asserts that the trial court erred in denying his Motion to Suppress the video recording of his traffic stop, the blood test results, and the results of his field sobriety tests. The trial court found reasonable suspicion for the stop and probable cause for the ensuing arrest. Finding no error, we affirm.

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

          J. Ryan Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Duncan Cameron, III.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jennings H. Jones, District Attorney General; and Brent L. Pierce, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE

         Procedural Background

         On July 13, 2017, the Rutherford County Grand Jury entered a true bill charging Defendant with DUI, DUI per se, and leaving the scene of an accident. On October 6, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress the video recorded from La Vergne Police Department Officer Kaitlyn Bush's patrol car, the blood test results, and the field sobriety results. The Motion was argued on November 20, 2017.

         Hearing on the Motion to Suppress

         Officer Bush was the only witness at the hearing. The video from Officer Bush's patrol car was introduced without objection as Exhibit 1.

         On September 11, 2016, Defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident while traveling eastbound on Interstate 24. He stopped and exchanged names, addresses, vehicle registration information, insurance information, and driver's license information with the driver of the other vehicle. Officer Bush was dispatched to the accident at 2:48 a.m. She estimated the parties had been at the scene of the accident approximately thirty minutes by the time she arrived. In the video from her patrol car, two cars can be seen parked, one behind the other, on the right hand side of the interstate as Officer Bush's patrol car approached. She activated the blue lights on her patrol car before reaching the scene. The front vehicle can then be seen pulling out onto the interstate and driving away. According to Officer Bush, as she pulled alongside the remaining car where two individuals were standing, she asked if the vehicle that was leaving was involved in the accident. They answered "yes" and pointed toward Defendant's vehicle, which was still visible as he drove away. Officer Bush activated her emergency siren and pursued Defendant, who pulled his vehicle over approximately one-half mile from the accident scene.

         Because Officer Bush "had observed [Defendant] leave the scene of an accident" and was "unsure of what [Defendant's] intentions were," she used her patrol car's loudspeaker to order Defendant to exit his vehicle. Defendant approached Officer Bush's patrol car ...


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