State Supreme Court Says Juror Misconduct Did Not Influence Guilty Verdict In Murder Case

Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of a man serving a life sentence for the 2006 first degree premeditated murder of his girlfriend.

On April 16, 2006, Prince Adams was at his mother’s residence in Shelby County and then left with Ohrdra Flowers in her automobile. Two days later, Adams informed his cousin that he had fought with Ms. Flowers and had killed her with his pocketknife after she admitted to an affair with another man. Adams later confessed to the police.

After the jury returned a guilty verdict on the charge of first degree murder, the jury foreman notified the trial judge that he had discovered a note in his hotel room the previous night, indicating that the two alternate jurors thought Adams was guilty as charged. The alternate jurors had been released from service before deliberations began. Claiming misconduct on the part of the alternate jurors, Adams sought a new trial. The trial court denied the request after the foreman testified that the note did not affect his or any other juror’s view of the evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction.

The Supreme Court granted the appeal to clarify that the note qualified as an “improper outside communication,” which as a matter of law results in a presumption that the jury was prejudiced and the guilty verdict should be set aside. In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that even though the note was improper, the prosecution had successfully overcome the presumption of prejudice by introducing other evidence to demonstrate that the communication had no effect on the jury’s deliberations.

The Court further observed that under the rules the foreman should not have been allowed to testify about the effect the note had on his view of the evidence, but in this instance there was no reasonable possibility that the verdict was influenced by the note. In reaching this conclusion, the Court considered the nature and content of the communication, the number of jurors who were aware of the note, the manner and timing in which the foreman received the note, and the weight of the remaining evidence at trial.

The Court also rejected Adams’ claims of other errors in the trial. He is serving a life sentence for the murder.

To read the State of Tennessee v. Prince Adams Opinion, authored by Chief Justice Gary R. Wade, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov .


Sign Up To Get The Latest News, Opinions From Chattanoogan.com In Real Time; Win Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Sign up for our Facebook and Twitter feeds and you will get the  local news in "real time." You will also be entered for a chance to win the complete set of the Chattanooga Photo Books published by Chattanoogan.com. We will give away three sets of The Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga to our new Facebook ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For June 16-22

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for June 16-22: 06-16-17 Samuel Kalil Hutchinson, 20, of 101 Ireland Lane, Chickamauga arrested on charges of violation of Georgia’s controlled substance act, possession of marijuana, no proof of insurance, operation of unregistered vehicle, use of license plate to conceal identity of motor vehicle and failure to obey traffic control ... (click for more)

Improvements On The Glass Bridge

The glass bridge has been an embarrassing situation almost since the day of installation. At least two or three and usually more sections of glass have continuously been cracked. This creates fear in pedestrians and causes most to want to use the middle metal section. In addition, it has not been maintained for cleanliness.  I observed that both the front section and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: California’s Foolishness

Over the weekend Hillary Clinton, the first runner-up in the latest presidential election, tweeted, “Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this (health) bill, they're the death party.” It was also being seriously debated if the psychotic action of the gunman who shot Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise was due to the repugnant rhetoric being increasingly spewed by other liberals. Great ... (click for more)

Former UTC Assistant Football Coach Suspended At ETSU After Threatening To Hang Residence Inn Clerk

A former UTC assistant football coach has been suspended at ETSU after police said he threatened to "hang with a noose" a clerk at the Residence Inn on Chestnut Street. Jeffrey Brumett, 35, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. In the incident on Friday night, police were told by the clerk and by witnesses that Brumett was angry because his ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)