Lower Court Summary:
A Rutherford County Circuit Court Jury convicted the appellant, Glover P. Smith, of fabricating evidence in counts 1 and 2 and filing a false report in counts 3 through 8. During a sentencing hearing, the trial court merged the appellant’s convictions of filing a false report in counts 3, 4, and 5 and ordered that he serve an effective sentence of one year in jail followed by six years of probation. Subsequently, the trial court granted the appellant’s motion for judgment of acquittal as to the fabricating evidence convictions based upon insufficient evidence. On appeal, the State contends that the trial court erred by granting the appellant’s motion for judgment of acquittal. In a counter-appeal, the appellant maintains that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; that the trial court improperly instructed the jury on “knowingly”; that newly discovered evidence warrants a new trial; that the State committed a Brady violation; that his multiple convictions in counts 3, 4, and 5 and in counts 6, 7, and 8 violate double jeopardy; that the trial court improperly enhanced his sentences and improperly denied his request for full probation; and that the cumulative effect of the errors warrants a new trial. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the trial court erred by granting the appellant’s motion for judgment of acquittal and reinstate his convictions of fabricating evidence in counts 1 and 2, the merger of the convictions, and the sentence. We also conclude that the trial court should have dismissed the charges of filing a false report in counts 4 and 5 because they were mutliplicitous with the charge in count 3. The appellant’s remaining convictions and sentences for filing a false report in counts 6, 7, and 8 are affirmed.