Dave was extremely professional but more importantly I was treated as a person not a case. He always returned calls and emails in a very timely manner. I would definitely recommend Dave to help with legal needs! -Jennifer S.

As someone who never had a lawyer, David made everything as simple as possible. He is very easy to communicate with and provides all the answers and support you will ever need. If I ever need a lawyer again, David will be my first choice to contact. -Andrew

I was falsely accused of something and had an order filed against me. Ben represented me during court and successfully had the order dismissed. He also went above and beyond to make sure it would not show up on my record. – Brittany.

Evidence of Acquitted Conduct

Share

Case: State v. Steve M. Jarman
Facts: Defendant was charged with first degree murder and convicted of voluntary manslaughter. Defendant challenged, among other things, that the court improperly admitted evidence of an alleged 2013 assault where the Defendant had been acquitted.

Appellate Decision: The intermediate court agreed with Defendant and reversed the conviction, citing that an acquittal renders an allegation less than “clear and convincing” such that the alleged incident is barred by Rule 404(b). State v. Holman, 611 S.W.2d 411, 413 (Tenn. 1981). The court observed that the Tennessee Supreme Court has noted the Holman holding represents the minority rule among states but has not overturned that precedent. A concurring opinion addressed a different issue and contended that “adequate provocation” is not strictly an essential element of manslaughter that the State must prove, but is instead a “built-in mitigation to a knowing or intentional killing.”

Review Granted: March 27, 2019.

Prediction: Ben thinks the Supreme Court is likely to reverse and overrule Holman, since an allegation could fall within the gap of “clear and convincing” and “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, a jury should be told that the defendant had been acquitted of the act. David agrees: the Tennessee Supreme Court has recently been overruling dated precedent not in harmony with majority rules in the country.