Jones, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.At Defendant's two-week trial in 2009, the prosecution called forty-five witnesses, and three hundred and seventy-six exhibits were introduced.At the conclusion of the trial, the sequestered jury convicted Defendant of the lesser-included offense of second degree murder, and the trial judge later sentenced her to twenty years and nine months.
Hulbert formally declared the victim deceased at a.m., but explained that she was not qualified to determine the actual time of death. Hulbert testified that, although the victim's body was cool to the touch, there was no indication of rigor mortis in her wrists. Hulbert did not measure the victim's core temperature. Hulbert explained that she did a basic visual assessment of Defendant, who was standing on the curb in front of the house, crying. Hulbert did not see any evidence to suggest that Defendant was under the influence of any drugs or disoriented. Hulbert recalled that when the police asked Defendant if she had any idea who perpetrated the murder, Defendant responded that “her mother's boyfriend was an asshole[,] but [even] he wouldn't do something like this.” During this time Defendant also told the police that she was tired and wanted to sleep.
The Memphis Police Department's Crime Scene Investigation (“CSI”) unit arrived at the scene around a.m.
The proof at trial showed that around midday on Saturday, June 4, 2005, the victim called Mark Irvin, her on-and-off again boyfriend since 2003, asking if she could attend church with him the next day and take him out for his birthday. The victim's credit card statement, introduced at trial, reflected that her card was used there at p.m. The victim's body was discovered in her home shortly before a.m. Joe and Rachel Cocke, who lived across the street with Mr. Cocke grabbed a pistol and ran across the street, with Defendant close behind him. Cocke paused before entering the house, Defendant passed him and entered the house first, proceeding to the sunroom at the back of the house, where she called 911. Cocke looked throughout the house, but did not see any intruders. Cocke entered the house, she found Defendant in the sunroom still speaking with 911, “all curled up,” and “rocking and wailing” on the floor. Cocke stood in the front foyer, where he observed bloody shoe prints and drops of blood on the kitchen floor directly adjacent to where he stood and saw that the window on the kitchen door had been broken. Cocke, who had taken the phone from Defendant, returned to the victim's bedroom at the direction of the 911 operator to see if the victim could be revived. Cocke found the victim's bedroom by following the “bloody footprints in the hallway.” Mrs. The Cockes stayed with Defendant until the police arrived at around a.m.
Cocke's mother, Sheila Cocke, were awakened by Defendant banging on their door and screaming, “My mom, my mom[! He asked Defendant where her mother was, and Defendant replied, “[S]he's in her room. Cocke then walked down the hallway where the bedrooms were located, looked into the victim's bedroom, and saw her “laying on the ground,” “naked,” “with blood all over her.” Mr. Cocke gave the telephone to her mother-in-law to complete the call and went to the victim's home. Cocke saw “a lot of blood” and quickly realized that the victim was dead, explaining that “[t]he look on her face was fixed and it—and dead.” Mrs. ] I just lost my dad․ Why is this happening to me[? Memphis Police Officer Russell Tankersley and his partner were the first to arrive at the crime scene.
The prosecution's case consisted entirely of circumstantial evidence.
Defendant maintained her innocence and exercised her constitutional right to remain silent and not testify at trial.Cocke then ran back to his house in order to bring back his wife Rachel, who had also called 911 and was speaking to the operator on her home phone when Mr. Cocke did not touch the victim, and on the recording of the 911 call placed from Defendant's home, which was played for the jury and introduced as an exhibit at trial, Mrs. When he entered the house, Defendant came to the door, yelling that something was wrong with her mom. He and his partner went inside and immediately saw blood on the hallway floor.Cocke can be heard calling out, apparently to someone else, “[D]on't touch anything.”Meanwhile, Defendant was crying and “hysterical,” repeatedly asking Mr. As he walked down the hall toward the victim's bedroom, Officer Tankersley had to ask a third officer to remove Defendant, who was screaming, “my mom, my mom” as she attempted to run back into the bedroom.He exited out that door and checked the garage and all of the outside doors, which were locked.The officers then went back to their squad cars and waited for the Crime Scene unit to arrive.Additional facts presented during the hearing on the motion for a new trial, in connection with Defendant's dispositive claims that the prosecution impermissibly commented upon her federal and state constitutional right to remain silent during final closing argument and deprived her of Due Process by failing to disclose a witness statement before trial or after the witness testified, will be provided in the discussion of those issues. Factual and Procedural History In June 2005, Defendant, eighteen and working on her high school degree, lived alone with the thirty-nine-year-old victim at 5001 Newhaven Drive in Memphis.